Dwight Howard’s charity event

Dwight+Howard%27s+charity+event

Anisha Tandon / Valencia Voice

Dwight Howard found a way to get back on the court in the midst of the NBA lockout, at UCF Nov.13.

Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard gave basketball fans in Orlando something to watch in the absence of the current NBA season as he hosted a celebrity charity game Sunday night at the UCF Arena. The game featured Howard and some of the current Orlando Magic players taking on former Orlando Magic players in an Old School vs. New School exhibition game.

Players who participated in Howard’s charity game included teammates Gilbert Arenas, Brandon Bass, Quentin Richardson, Jameer Nelson, Ryan Anderson, Earl Clarke, and Daniel Orton. Former Magic Players who played included Penny Hardaway, Courtney Lee, Mike Miller, Keith Bogans, Matt Barnes, Rashard Lewis, Trevor Ariza, Drew Gooden, Marcin Gortat, and Steve Francis.

The two teams were coached by Grammy award winning rap artist Lil’ Wayne and undefeated professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“I’m glad for the guys who came out and also for the fans this is really for our fans here in Orlando. I just wanted to do something for Orlando and just bring in all the guys to have a good time,” said Howard about the game. “I think this is the best way you could express how I feel about a certain group of people and doing an event like this was something me and a couple of guys really sat down and thought about.”

All proceeds of the game benefited Howard’s D12 foundation, which benefits underprivileged youth.

The 10,000-seat UCF arena was nearly sold out as it was packed with anxious fans that have been waiting for an NBA season for what seems like eternity and hoping that the current labor dispute come to an end soon.

When asked specifically about the lockout or his free agency status for the summer of 2012, Howard refused to answer any questions and said talking about these issues took away from the purpose of the night.

In the end of the night it was the Old School Magic team who came out victorious as they beat the New School Magic team 114-102.

One of the players who received the loudest ovations by the crowd of any player introduced was 40-year-old former Magic guard Penny Hardaway.

“I feel great because I hadn’t been back in so long, especially in this atmosphere since I left the Magic,” Hardaway said. “I thank Dwight for doing this because don’t know if it would happen otherwise. It’s something I will never forget.”

Howard didn’t rule out the possibility of hosting a similar event in the future especially with the status of the current season and Orlando in jeopardy of losing its chance to host the 2012 NBA All-Star game which is scheduled to be in February at the Amway center.