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Top NBA stars who are opponents on the court are teaming up off the court as part of Hoops for St. Jude, benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of the world’s premier pediatric cancer research centers.

Pau Gasol, Rudy Gay, Danny Granger, Shane Battier, Kevin Love and Steve Blake will make a donation to St. Jude for each point they score throughout the NBA season. All players will donate a minimum season-end gift of $20,000 each. In addition, veteran coach George Karl is lending support by donating $20,000 to St. Jude.

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Fans can join the Hoops for St. Jude team by making a one-time or monthly donation or by pledging for points scored by any team members during the 2009-2010 season at www.hoopsforstjude.org. With a donation of $20 or more, fans will receive a commemorative Hoops for St. Jude lapel pin.

The season-long Hoops for St. Jude eBay® auction of autographed sports memorabilia and other exclusive basketball items provides another way for fans to get involved. Items currently available for bid include autographed practice-worn shoes by Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Mike Bibby and autographed basketballs from Greg Oden and the entire Toronto Raptors team. All money raised through the online auction benefits St. Jude, where no child is denied treatment because of a family’s inability to pay. To donate and to bid on the auction, visit www.hoopsforstjude.org.

Gay is encouraging all NBA fans to join the fight against childhood cancer. “I have had the privilege of meeting many brave St. Jude patients over the years and have seen firsthand that St. Jude is a place of hope,” said Gay. “Join the Hoops for St. Jude team and make an important assist—giving hope to children with cancer.”

Recognizing the global impact of the groundbreaking research and lifesaving treatment, Gasol is hoping basketball fans donate to help children in the United States and countries around the world. “The incredible work of St. Jude, that I had the opportunity to witness during my years in Memphis, has attracted me to this very special cause,” said Gasol. “Supporting Hoops for St. Jude is important, not only for children in the United States but for children around the world.”

As a prostate cancer survivor and father to a son who beat thyroid cancer, Denver Nuggets NBA head coach George Karl strives to help those affected by cancer. “Aside from basketball, there are two causes that I am passionate about—our youth and cancer awareness. St. Jude combines both of my passions,” explained Karl. “No child should ever die from cancer. The St. Jude mission of finding cures and saving children is one that resonates with me and my family.”

“St. Jude is very fortunate to have the support of these top NBA players and Coach George Karl,” said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. “We hope NBA fans will embrace the St. Jude mission and join the Hoops for St. Jude team. Together, we can give hope to children battling cancer by channeling the competitive spirit of basketball into this wonderful cause – finding cures and saving children.”

Hoops for St. Jude evolved out of the partnership between the NBA Summer League and St. Jude in 2008. NBA coaches and executives are introduced to the St. Jude mission during the NBA Summer League’s annual tip-off dinner.

 2009-2010 Hoops for St. Jude Team

Pau Gasol

Los Angeles Lakers

Rudy Gay

Memphis Grizzlies

Danny Granger

Indianapolis Pacers

Shane Battier

Houston Rockets

Kevin Love

Minnesota Timberwolves

Steve Blake

Portland Trailblazers

George Karl

Denver Nuggets

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