Preps underway for NBA All-Star weekend

February 11, 2013 4:42:46 PM PST
Some all-stars are en route to Houston. In just a few days, the Bayou City will play host to the NBA All-Star weekend.

With high profile events and celebrities, fans are expected to flock here, and local businesses are preparing.

Several celebrities and former basketball players are planning to hold parties all around town over the rest of the week, and the NBA trucks have already rolled into town to get All-Star weekend up and running for the family-friendly events.

Organizers said 500,000 square feet of the George R. Brown Convention Center are under transformation. More than 70 trucks delivered NBA All-Star Jam Session equipment that a 200-person crew is now assembling.

The Jam Session is described as "wall-to-wall basketball fun for all ages" where fans can "shoot, slam, dribble and drive all day, compete against their friends in skills challenges and collect free autographs from NBA players and legends."

"You can get a chance to meet your favorite legend, your favorite NBA player and you get a chance to slam dunk," said Damon McDade, NBA manager of events. "For everybody, there is something for you."

Across the street at the Toyota Center, they are preparing for guests as well.

Some early birds are getting the jump at attending NBA All-Star events.

Thomas Foster will be the king of the house. He just scored Jam Session tickets for his fianc?e and three boys.

"Well, like the kids, I guess they are excited about seeing the players," Foster said. "Some of the older players, that's me. Really just to have fun with the kids."

Also taking his kids to the All-Star NBA Jam Session is David Carpentar. And this dad will be seeking out his own NBA stars.

"For the Jam Session, just seeing some of the legends," Carpentar said. "The NBA legends are going to be there and they are going to have some autograph availability, things like that."

Hotels are also preparing. Twenty-two hotels, including Hotel Icon downtown, are now booked by the NBA and out-of-town guests.

"We want to continue this excitement throughout the hotel, throughout the week and welcome everyone coming to Houston as a part of this," Kristin Skille with Hotel Icon said.

With events starting as early as Wednesday, cameras are already snapping shots of fans dreaming of their favorite players.

"I would like to have picture with Kobe [Bryant]," fan Mary Napone said.

The event officially kicks off at 4pm Thursday and runs through Sunday. For more information and a list of events, visit www.nba.com.
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