John Wall to assist President Obama


Thanks, John. (JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS)

The Obama campaign announced on Tuesday that it would hold a benefit shoot-around at New York’s Chelsea Piers sports complex featuring several NBA stars, followed by a fundraising dinner hosted by Jordan and NBA commissioner David Stern later in the evening.

Wall, Carmelo Anthony, Patrick Ewing, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Joe Johnson, Kyrie Irving, Vince Carter, Juwan Howard, Austin Rivers, Steve Smith, Dawn Staley, Sheryl Swoops, Jamal Crawford and Penny Hardaway have all agreed to participate in a “shoot-around skills session,” with more players expected to be added.

Obama is an admitted hoops junkie and his reelection campaign attempted to organize an all-star exhibition game in an undetermined spot in Washington last December. But the event — which was scheduled to feature all-stars Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Chris Bosh — was postponed because the players and owners ended a five-month stalemate and settled on a new collective bargaining agreement.

The new basketball-related event has a much different format. For $5,000, two people will have a chance to take part in the “shoot-around” with the players and an an autograph session with the players is available for a donation of $250. The dinner will cost $20,000 per person. People also have an opportunity to win round-trip tickets, hotel accommodations and tickets to the event by going to the campaign Web site and filling out a form by Friday.

Michael Lee is the national basketball writer for The Washington Post.

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