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NBA, NBPA, TNT and Habitat for Humanity dedicate seven homes and new park in Hattiesburg, MS

NBA legends and local volunteers join in final home build and dedication of six additional houses

New York, Aug. 22, 2007 – As part of the NBA’s continued efforts to assist those affected by the devastation of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the NBA, the National Basketball Players Association, TNT and Habitat for Humanity International partnered on a ten-city home building initiative at the beginning of the 2006-07 NBA season. Six of the homes built throughout the year were shipped to Hattiesburg, MS to be part of a newly developed Habitat for Humanity neighborhood in south Hattiesburg.

On Wednesday, August 22, members of the NBA Family joined local volunteers to build the final home of the initiative and the seventh home in the area. Following the home build, the players hosted a basketball clinic in a new park which was also funded by the NBA.

“Every member of the NBA Family who has taken part in a Habitat for Humanity home build during the season has been greatly affected by the work and dedication of the volunteers and the families,” said Kathy Behrens, SVP NBA Community and Player Programs. “We know how important it is to lend a hand so that families can fulfill the dream of owning their own home and this neighborhood will be a fresh start for many deserving families.”

Amare Stoudemire, Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Antonio McDyess were among the 50 NBA players and legends, as well as team personnel from the Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, New Jersey Nets and the Sacramento Kings that participated in Habitat builds throughout the season and during NBA All-Star 2007 in Las Vegas. Participants framed seven Habitat homes that were shipped to Hattiesburg to create a Habitat for Humanity neighborhood, helping to rebuild the area, as well assist seven local families in starting new lives.

“TNT is proud to roll up our sleeves alongside our partners at the NBA and NBA Players Association to assist Habitat for Humanity in rebuilding the homes of those displaced by Hurricane Katrina,” said David Levy, president of Turner Sports. “Rebuilding the Gulf Coast requires a myriad of resources, contributions and manpower, and we are committed to help join in the effort.”

“In the wake of Katrina the union and the players wanted to demonstrate a long-term commitment to the recovery effort and assisting the people who need it most,” said NBPA Executive Director William Hunter. “The partnership with Habitat for Humanity has helped rebuild the homes and lives of families in a way that NBA players, the NBA and TNT can be proud of now and in the future.”

“Building upon their previous involvement in Habitat’s work, the NBA and the NBA Players Association have now extended their commitment to families in need of decent homes – especially those families so severely impacted by Hurricane Katrina,” says Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “We deeply value TNT’s involvement, as well, and this relationship clearly demonstrates the leadership with which they, the NBA and its players manifest their drive to strengthen the communities, in which they work, play and live.”

Habitat for Humanity assists families with a hand up, not a hand out, by requiring Habitat homeowners to invest “sweat equity” hours to help build their home or the homes of others in the program, and repay a no-profit mortgage. Habitat strives to achieve its goal of eliminating poverty housing and making decent, affordable homes a reality for low-income families.

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built more than 225,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit http://www.habitat.org.

NBA Cares is the league’s social responsibility initiative that builds on the NBA’s long tradition of addressing important social issues in the United States and around the world. Through this umbrella program, the NBA, its teams and players have committed to donating $100 million to charity, providing a million hours of hands-on service to the community and creating 250 places where kids and families can live, learn or play. NBA Cares works with internationally-recognized, youth-serving programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes, including: UNICEF; the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.

The National Basketball Players Association created “Operation Rebound” in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. As one of the first professional sports organization to announce a financial contribution to the Gulf Coast hurricane relief effort, an initial $2.5 million dollar contribution has been supplemented many times over through the contributions of individual players. As part of its’ Hurricane relief efforts, the NBPA has been responsible for the distribution of hundreds of tractor trailers of food and relief supplies in venues stretching across Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. The NBPA works closely with a variety of relief organizations, including Habitat for Humanity in delivering much needed assistance throughout the Gulf Coast and beyond.

Turner Sports, Inc., a Time Warner company, presents some of the best and most popular sporting events worldwide and is a leader in televised sports programming. With events airing on TBS and TNT, Turner Sports’ lineup includes the NBA, NASCAR and NASCAR.COM, Major League Baseball, college football, professional golf, PGATour.com and PGA.com.