April 2, 1997

NBA Inside Stuff Highlights The NBA Teamup Program on Saturday, April 5, on the NBC Television Network

Spartan Alum Steve Smith's $2.5 million donation to MSU in Honor of Mother will also be highlighted

Secausus, N.J. - NBA Inside Stuff is dedicating its April 5 show to the NBA's league-wide community outreach initiative, the NBA Teamup program, in recognition of youngsters in the community, NBA players, coaches and team personnel making a difference in the lives of others.

Co-hosted by Ahmad Rashad and Willow Bay, NBA Inside Stuff airs on the NBC Television Network. (check local listings for air times)

NBA Inside Stuff will highlight the finalists and winner of the 1997 NBA Teamup Award. In February, all 29 NBA franchises nominated a "team" of youngsters from their local area for the award. Four finalists -- Richmond Heights Middle School (Cleveland), Miami Heat Youth Council (Miami), Kids Making Miracles for Doembecher Children's Hospital (Portland), Centennial School Salmon Project from Coqitlam, British Columbia (Vancouver) and the overall winner -- C.E. King Middle School (Houston) -- were honored for demonstrating an outstanding commitment to improving their communities through volunteer work.

also featured is Atlanta Hawks guard Steve Smith, who donated $2.5 million to his alma mater, Michigan State University, as a tribute to his mother, Clara Bell Smith Student-Athlete Academic Center." The donation also will fund the Steve Smith Scholarship for Detroit Pershing High School, an endowment that will help deserving students from the school who want to attend MSU.

"(My mother) is the inspiration behind the gift," said Smith. "You can never give too much. That's something she taught me when I was very young. I consider this her gift to education given through me."

NBA Inside Stuff givs viewers a wrap-up of "NBA Reading Month" celebrated in March. In cooperation with Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation's leading non-profit children's literacy organization, the NBA and its teams participated in a variety of activities designed to raise awareness about youth literacy and create excitement about reading. Throughout the month, NBA players including Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), Ray Allen (Milwaukee Bucks) and Christian Laettner (Atlanta Hawks), read books to students at schools, youth organizations and libraries.

"I think the NBA realizes that the easiest way to educate yourself and the easiest way to gain knowledge is through reading," said Laettner. "When you read, you can learn anything."

Finally, Rebecca Lobo (New York Liberty, WNBA) conducts the Meriden Symphony Orchestra in Connecticut on the finer points of the University of Connecticut fight song. A member of the gold medal winning U.S. women's basketball team in 1996, Lobo helped lead the UConn women's basketball team to a National Championship in 1995.