Trail Blazers Press Release

Trail Blazers Players make it better At 14 Albina Head Start Classrooms

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    Fifteen players joined assistant coaches, alumni and staff
    to host holiday parties

    PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Trail Blazers made special visits to Albina Head Start classrooms Tuesday afternoon. The team delivered snacks and holiday gifts, and were entertained by the students who sang holiday songs – including ‘Happy Birthday’ to Nicolas Batum, who turns 23 today.

    The Head Start students made holiday wish lists prior to the visit, noting their favorite toy and clothing size. The team filled every request over the weekend before personally delivering the gifts on Tuesday.

    Trail Blazers assistant coaches Kaleb Canales, Bernie Bickerstaff, Larry Greer and Dean Cooper teamed up with the players, who spanned 14 different classrooms throughout the city. Team President Larry Miller, Alumni Ambassador Brian Grant and more than 100 employee volunteers also joined the players.

    The 15 players who made visits were: Gerald Wallace, Nicolas Batum, Marcus Camby, Greg Oden, Nolan Smith, Armon Johnson, Elliot Williams, Chris Johnson, Kurt Thomas, Luke Babbitt, Earl Barron, Jeff Foote, Ben McCauley, Seth Tarver and Marshall Brown.

    Click here for more photos from Albina Head Start

    In 2004, the Albina Head Start McCormack-Matthews Center opened in North Portland, providing education and health services to preschoolers and their families. The project is a Trail Blazers family effort with nearly $1 million in contributions coming from Trail Blazers owner, Paul Allen, the Trail Blazers organization and alum Damon Stoudamire. During the holidays, Trail Blazers employees adopt Head Start centers across Portland and provide gifts and holiday parties.

    As part of NBA Cares Home for the Holidays, the NBA and its teams and players are out in their communities hosting hundreds of charitable events across the country in an effort to brighten the holidays for thousands of children and families.

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