Queen Latifah Tapped to Host 2006 Alonzo Mourning/Magic Johnson 8-Ball Challenge

Rapper/actress Queen Latifah will host the 2006 Zo and Magic 8-Ball Challenge, a celebrity pool tournament organized by NBA star Alonzo Mourning and Ervin “Magic” Johnson.

The event, hosted by Boost Mobile, Red Bull, Volkswagen, Tyson Foods and others, will be held Feb. 16 at Jillians’s of Houston during the 2006 NBA All-Star Weekend.

Thirty-two two-person teams will compete round robin style in the Challenge, with the winning teams advancing until a final round of play.

Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat and Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets are slated to participate in addition to rappers Ludacris and Nelly and actor Dean Cain.

Prizes include a luxury vacation package courtesy of Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board and the elegant Old Bahama Bay Resort and Yacht Harbor, two Boost Mobile i875 mp3 phones with one year of free service and an Atlas Collection Silver Pool Rack and Cue courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning encouraged players to bring their a-game to the Challenge, which will benefit his Alonzo Mourning Charities, Inc. and the Magic Johnson Foundation.

“It’s always heartwarming to see people come together in support of efforts that improve our community, Mourning said. “Both Magic and I take the work we do through our Foundations very seriously. However, it is with much excitement that we hold the 8 Ball Challenge, which allows everyone to enjoy a great atmosphere and raise funds in the process. I am looking forward to seeing each person and to winning this year.”

The event marks the second time the Challenge has been held.

The first event, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, took place last year in Denver, Colorado.

More than $100,000 was raised as Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics took home the grand prize.

“I look forward to the success the Magic Johnson Foundation and the Alonzo Mourning Charities will achieve together with the 8-Ball Challenge,” added Earvin “Magic” Johnson, an NBA legend. “I am happy to partner with Alonzo on such a great event as well as support two great causes.”

In addition to the Challenge, fans can enjoy a private VIP Lounge hosted by Pierce and Baron Davis of the Golden State Warriors as well as a silent auction.

Items from Mourning, Johnson and NBA great Michael Jordan will be auctioned as well as a Boost Mobile i870 phone with one year of free service and a Volkswagen silent auction package that includes chauffeured car and party passes for All-Star Weekend.

Founded in 1997, Alonzo Mourning Charities, Inc. helps improve the lives of underprivileged kids in various communities.

The organization has raised more than $5 million for various organizations that aid in the development of at-risk children and their families.

The Magic Johnson Foundation, founded in 1991, is dedicated towards identifying and supporting community-based organizations that address the educational, health, and social needs of children, young adults and inner-city communities throughout the nation.

A limited number of tickets are still available for the Challenge.

For more information, visit http://www.amcharities.org or http://www.magicjohnson.org

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