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Seven players to donate $1,000 per point; Wizards sell wristbands

| Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2005

Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, Jermaine O'Neal and four other NBA players have promised to donate $1,000 for every point they score in a game later this week to help victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami.

Bob Sura of the Houston Rockets, Jalen Rose of the Toronto Raptors, and Pau Gasol and Mike Miller of the Memphis Grizzlies also are taking part in the $1,000-per-point donations, which will be made to UNICEF.

"I first talked about it with Jermaine and Tracy right before New Year's. We talked about different ideas, and that's how it started," said agent Arn Tellem, who said he will match the highest donation made by any of the players.

On Tuesday night, the Washington Wizards sold "Tsunami Relief Bands" for a minimum donation of $2, with all proceeds going to UNICEF. The Wizards wore the wristbands during their game against the New Jersey Nets.

Bryant, McGrady, Miller, Sura, Rose and Gasol will base the size of their donations on the number of points they score in Friday night's games, while O'Neal will donate $1,000 for each point he scores Thursday night.

Tellem said the program, called "Shoot-a-Thon," hopes to raise about $250,000.

The seven players who have pledged donations are all represented by Tellem's agency, SFX.

"I think when more players find out about it, they'll get involved," Rose said. "Sometimes you hear a lot of horror stories about relief funds not getting to designated party, but in this case UNICEF will make certain that won't happen."

Also, the Harlem Globetrotters plan to donate at least $100,000 and match funds raised by the sale of game programs during their 2005 tour to over 200 cities in the United States and Canada. The money raised will also go to UNICEF.

"As concerned global citizens and ambassadors of goodwill, the Harlem Globetrotters feel strongly about doing something to help those who are suffering, especially the youth," Globetrotters owner and chairman Mannie Jackson said.

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