Tina Thompson: Rolling Out the Red Carpet
A recap of her NBA All-Star Weekend events in L.A.
Thompson, and her company Blueprint Collective, LLC, hosted numerous events (both inclusive and exclusive) which featured everyone from Kobe Bryant and Kanye West to Anfernee Hardaway and Jalen Rose.
“It was really important for me to represent Los Angeles over All-Star Weekend,” Thompson said exclusively to SLAMonline. “I am a L.A. native born and raised so I know the real L.A., not just the lights, camera and action. I know there are specific needs and wants in our local community. All-Star Weekend is only truly open to a select group of people and we wanted to change that! Our goal was to try and reach everyone and give as many people as we could the opportunity to experience All-Star Weekend. I believe we did that and, more importantly, accomplished some very positive things in the community.”
Below, you’ll find a description of each event along with exclusive pictures. Be sure to give Tina some love in the comment section.
DeMar DeRozan Assembly/Pep Rally @ Compton High School
Friday, February 18, 2011 @ Compton High School
The Assembly/Pep Rally was an effort to reconnect DeMar with his roots and rekindle his relationship with his high school where it all started for him. Because of his participation in the weekend events, Demar himself was not able to attend. His father, Mr. Frank DeRozan, came in his place along with Southern California natives Tina Thompson and Cedric Ceballos (Cedric is also a product of the Compton community). Here, the students received encouraging words as well as an inside look into the lives of the speakers and their journey to get to where they are now. There was also a contest that allowed students to win DeMar DeRozan autographed memorabilia and an opportunity to attend the NBA Jam Session.
Friday, February, 18, 2011 @ The W Hotel Hollywood and Drai’s Nightclub @ 9-2am/2-7am
Nike Entertainment collaborated with Blueprint Collective, LLC to execute one of the most dynamic, invitation-only events of the weekend. In celebration of Kobe Bryant and his career accomplishments, along with the debut of his short film, The Black Mamba by Robert Rodriguez, everyone in attendance was thoroughly entertained. With Kanye West as the featured performer, it was certainly a night to remember. The W Hotel was, literally, transformed to make this event even more hip and chic. Drai’s Nightclub and Lounge, one of the most unique entertainments spaces in all of Southern California, was a key component of making this event happen and the atmosphere was modeled after their spot.
3 on 3 Legends Tournament
Saturday, February, 19, 2011 @ The Galen Center, USC @ 11am-5pm
The Legends Tournament was, perhaps, the highlight of the weekend. The tournament consisted of about 40 former NBA players like Dale Davis, Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, Cuttino Mobley, Byron Russell, Jalen Rose and Olden Polynice to name a few. Cedric Ceballos and Cassandra from Cali-Wood were brought in to help host the event which was broadcasted live by Cassandra and her show. The double-elimination tournament paired teams against each other in a 12-team bracket to ultimately crown a champion and (temporary) bragging rights. The event was free of charge to the public and extremely fan-friendly giving the audience an opportunity to experience players up close and personal as well as giving the former players the competitive atmosphere they have since left behind with retirement.
DeMar’s Go Green/Metro Ride
Sunday, February 20, 2011 on the Compton Metro/Downtown Los Angeles @ 11am-3pm
DeMar’s Go Green, the second part of his initiative, took place on February 20. Here, kids got the opportunity to ride the Metro and spend some quality time with DeMar asking him questions while marveling in this special opportunity. The kids then were escorted to NBA Jam Session that was chaperoned by Blueprint Collective employees, including Tina Thompson, along with members of the Compton community. The kids had a wonderful time capped by a game of knockout with DeMar.
The Gifting Suite was a unique experience for many reasons. First, its location in the W Hotel Residences included a sick view of the Hollywood Hills. The very posh and exclusive W Hotel (with a five million dollar price tag) was transformed into a swank, hip environment for gifting of Nike products to its clients. Because of its exclusivity, Tina was pleased to use her relationships in the Los Angeles community to acquire such a unique space. The deconstruction and transformation of the space into Nike’s vision was no small task but Tina and Blueprint Collective were able to pull it off beautifully.
“The Kobe/Kanye celebration is still being talked about,” Thompson said to SLAMonline. “From the amazing feedback we received, we’re already talking and making plans for the 3-on-3 Legends Tournament for future All-Star games. Plus, I really love that DeMar [DeRozan] will continue his desire to improve the Compton community.”
This summer, Thompson and Blueprint Collective plan to help bring back the L.A. Watts Summer Games along with the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce. The games originated in 1968 as a response to the 1965 Watts Riots and aims to promote positive interaction, respect and achievement through competition in athletics.
Props to Tina and Blueprint Collective for making such a positive difference in the Los Angeles community not just over All-Star Weekend but throughout the entire year.
Be sure to follow Tina on twitter @IamTinaThompson.