NBA All-Star Game Brings Out Passion for New Orleans from Players and Fans

NBA All Star Jr. Journalism Program

By Morgan Forshag, St. Mary’s Dominican High School
Mentor Lauren Cason
Photos by Stephanie Mayer, St Mary’s Dominican High School

February 17, 2017

New Orleans is no rookie to hosting major events. This weekend, tens of thousands of fans will travel to New Orleans for the annual NBA All-Star Game. Fans will witness a historic ballgame played by the best basketball players in the world, and they will see how the unique culture of New Orleans shines.

New Orleans is truly the place to be, even rookie Aaron Gordon and NBA legend Detlef Schrempf agree. Although Gordon and Schrempf differ in age by thirty-three years, it is clear that the rookie and legend both have a similar outlook on the exciting city.

Rookie Aaron Gordon, first round draft pick in 2014 and current Orlando Magic power forward, expressed his excitement for spending time in New Orleans. “The people stand out here,” he said. “They are so genuine and sincere.”

Detlef Schrempf, former NBA player of sixteen years and three-time All-Star player, said his time in New Orleans is definitely time well spent. “I love New Orleans. This is my third visit in seven years and it really is such a fun city.” Schrempf said. “I’m happy to be back.”

During their visit, both players participated in the NBA All-Star Day of Service, held at William Hart Elementary School in Gretna. The players and volunteers worked to build a new playground for the students at the school.

NBA All Star Jr. Journalism Program

Schrempf recalled how much the NBA All-Star events have changed over the years. “During my time in the NBA, we had just started with community work. Now it’s a huge aspect of not just the All-Star event, but for the league.” Schrempf added that “it’s a huge effort from all the players, and it really shows that the NBA cares.”

As the players begin to gear-up for the game, the fans get more excited by the day. Gordon is eager to compete in front of the fans, especially for the dunk contest. “I’m looking forward to the dunk contest the most. I hope I can put on a good show for the crowd.”

While the rookie and legend have a very busy schedule during their trip to New Orleans, they say they will find some time to play tourist too. With a smile and no hesitation, Gordon said “Café Du Monde is my favorite. The beignets are so good.”

NBA legend Schrempf agrees that the food and unique culture is definitely a highlight in Nola. “I’m looking forward to eating some good food and listening to good music.” He jokingly added “I’ll try to stay away from the craziness too!”

Because of the NBA All-Star Game, this weekend will be legendary. The true passion and spirit of New Orleans will be infused through the players and fans. Let the good times roll!