NBA All-Star Game Legacy Project: 21 in '21

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NBA All-Star Game Legacy Project: 21 in '21

Indy host committee plans to fund 21 youth-focused projects across Indiana

(INDIANAPOLIS) - The NBA All-Star Game in Indianapolis will leave a million-dollar legacy statewide.

The host committee for the game is taking grant applications from nonprofit groups for youth-focused programs focusing on either science and technology education, or on health and wellness. Pacers Sports and Education president Rick Fuson says organizers are picturing proposals like science labs, playgrounds, or basketball courts, but speculates someone could try to combine the two concepts with an outdoor teaching space. He says he hopes nonprofits will be "limited only by (their) imagination."

Applications are open and are due by the end of the year, with the winners announced sometime between next year's All-Star Game in Chicago and the 2021 game in Indy. Fuson says the plan is to award 21 grants of about $50,000 each, with a goal of spreading them across the entire state -- including northwest Indiana, which the league normally classifies as Chicago Bulls territory. Fuson says the Bulls have agreed to let the Pacers promote the effort there.

Once the winners are selected, those agencies will pick a high school student from the Class of 2021 in their communities to receive a college scholarship. Fuson says the amount hasn't been determined yet.

Former Indiana Fever All-Star Tamika Catchings (foreground), Fever mascot Freddy Fever, and former Indiana Pacers All-Star Darnell Hillman (background) play pickup hoops with Indianapolis kids on the governor's mansion basketball court (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

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