President Barack Obama is known to play pick up basketball with friends and aides, but the president will join with NBA stars to host a fundraiser shoot-out and dinner in New York on Aug. 22 to raise money for his re-election campaign.

The $20,000-per-person dinner will be co-hosted by NBA legend Michael Jordan, who played for Obama’s favorite team, the Chicago Bulls, and NBA Commissioner David Stern. NBA stars including Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks, Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics, and John Wall of the Washington Wizards are confirmed to be in attendance.

Players from the New York’s Chelsea Piers sports complex will participate in the shootout alongside Anthony, Rondo, Wall, Paul Pierce, Kyrie Irving, Joe Johnson, Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning, and WNBA players Sheryl Swoopes and Dawn Stale.

The shoot-out, dubbed the “Obama Classic,” costs $5,000 for a parent and child or two people to have a session with the players. For a $250 donation, fans can participate in an autograph session with the players.

Obama has held fundraisers with NBA players in the past. In February, Obama held a fundraiser at the Orlando-area home of Vince Carter of the Dallas Mavericks, who will also be in attendance at the upcoming event.

In an Aug. 7 e-mail, Obama for America said that future donors to the President’s re-election campaign would be automatically entered into a lottery for a chance to play basketball with the former and current NBA and WNBA stars. The winner will also be invited to the dinner with Obama and Jordan.

While Obama smashed fundraising records in 2008, raising $750 million, in the past three months Obama’s campaign has come in second in the fund-raising battle against Republican candidate Mitt Romney. In July, Romney reported a fundraising total of $101 million to the $75 million for Obama’s campaign reported by the Democratic National Committee.

Obama has hosted other high-profile fundraisers including events featuring Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, actress Sarah Jessica Parker in June and movie producer Harvey Weinstein in early August.


Krishana Davis

AFRO Staff Writers