Chris Mullin announces charity tournament to benefit NY fire department

Copyright 2002 Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service
Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service
Daily News (NY)...07/11/2002

By Christopher Hunt

NEW YORK _ After Sept. 11, former NBA All-Star Chris Mullin felt he had to do something to help.

Mullin, from Brooklyn, and Ronnie Lott, an NFL Hall of Famer, had organized a successful charity basketball tournament in California's Bay Area. One day Mullin casually said to Lott, "Why don't we try this in New York."

At the NBA Store in Manhattan on Wednesday, Mullin and former Golden State teammate Manute Bol announced a 3-on-3 charity tournament to be held at Basketball City on W. 23rd St.

The Aug. 1 event will mostly benefit the city Fire Department Training Academy. It also will aid Lott's nonprofit All Stars Helping Kids, which helps disadvantaged children.

Mullin, an All-American at St. John's, has family members who are firefighters and cops. His brother-in-law belongs to Engine 53, though Mullin wore a T-shirt with Engine 40's name on it.

The tournament will feature 16 teams, each comprised of a professional (active or retired), a celebrity and a sponsor representative. Among the participants will be former Giants linebacker Carl Banks, former Liberty star Kym Hampton, former Knick Mark Jackson, the Toronto Raptors' Antonio Davis, Lott - who's currently in Africa - and Bol.

Bol said he's excited about the event. He's no stranger to charity, having given millions from his NBA earnings to help his people in Sudan - so much, in fact, that it left him broke.

He recently participated in a charity boxing match against football's William (Refrigerator) Perry.

The 7-7 Bol was in Egypt when the twin towers fell. He was scheduled to come to the U.S. in October and had just passed his physicals on Sept. 10.

Mullin, who retired after the 2001 season, said he plans to spend a lot of time in the New York area.

He ran off to his basketball camp on Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn after the press conference. He still plays basketball twice a week and said the tournament gives him a chance to do what he loves and help the community.

"It's just the right thing to do," Mullin said.


(c) 2002, New York Daily News.