New Orleans, LA (KADN) — The National Basketball Association will be honoring U.S. troops during their All-Star weekend.
Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife, Lisa, joined about 2,500 service members, veterans, and their families at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on Saturday where troops were honored guests at the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge Practice.
The NBA Cares Hoops for Troops program hosted the veterans and service members who were invited to take part in on-court activities with NBA rookies and second-year players during breaks in the practice.
Hoops for Troops is a year round initiative in partnership with the Defense Department and the USO to honor active-duty and veteran service members.
After the practive, Battaglias traveled to the New Orleans community of Algiers to spend hours working along 250 service members and veterans as well as current and former NBA players.
The group rehabbed six homes, including the homes of four veterans, as part of NBA Cares Day of Service.
Rebuilding Together organized the volunteer work and selected the homes that would receive work.
Battaglia also met with a number of NBA officials on Saturday and Sunday as part of a Defense Department initiative to increase hiring of veterans by Fortune 500 companies.