Billiards, not basketball, will be the game of choice during this year’s NBA All Star Weekend as rappers Ludacris and Queen Latifah team up to host Alonzo Mourning and Ervin “Magic” Johnson’s 2007 Boost Mobile Zo & Magic’s 8-Ball Challenge.
The celebrity pool tournament, which takes place Feb. 15 at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, will feature various sports figures and entertainment celebrities, including Mourning’s Heat teammate Dwyane Wade, Gilbert Arenas (Washington Wizards), Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Michael Vick (Atlanta Falcons), Terrell Owens (Dallas Cowboys), actor Nick Cannon and actress Regina King.
Participants will be split into 32 two-person teams as they compete round-robin style for a grand prize package that includes Boost Mobile phones and service, luxury trips, Tiffany & Company custom made gifts and X-box’s.
A joint venture between Boost Mobile, Miami Heat player Alonzo Mourning and NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the Zo & Magic 8-Ball Challenge first emerged in 2005 when the first 8-Ball Challenge was held during Denver, Colorado’s NBA All Star festivities.
Cedric The Entertainer hosted the event, which raised more than $100,000 for charity.
Johnson came aboard the following year as the Challenge raised more than $250,000 for Mourning’s Alonzo Mourning Charities (AMC) and Johnson’s Magic Johnson Foundation (MJF).
“Last year, it helped AMC, in part, grant more than $700,000 to several charities. This year, with our focus of building youth centers, the funds generated will help us meet this goal. Again, I challenge everyone to take part in this great event that Magic and I support whole-heartedly and ultimately benefits our youth.”
Founded in 1997, the AMC helps improve the lives of underprivileged kids in various communities.
The MJF, founded in 1991, is committed toward improving the quality of life of people residing in urban communities by delivering much-needed programs and resources including access, education and information.
This year’s event will be filmed by ESPN for a one-hour special.
The show, which will showcase the charities and include highlights from the competition and the final round of play, will air during Black History Month in February.
For Johnson, the event provides the perfect alternative to the ball-handling NBA fans will see.
“It’s sexy, it’s hot, it’s entertainment at its best and it’s for charity,” Magic Johnson said. “No matter what Alonzo and I do, it’s going to be fun.”
Tournament attendees will also be treated to a silent auction featuring items from Mourning, Johnson, Wade and Michael Jordan.
Proceeds from the Challenge will benefit charities supported by Alonzo Mourning Charities, Inc. and the Magic Johnson Foundation.
A limited number of tickets for the event are still available. For details, visit www.amcharities.org.