ETSU Athletics, International Storytelling Center set to host NBA exhibition game Oct. 16, 2010
Monday, December 21, 2009

For Tickets Call: 423-439-ETSU (3878)

New Orleans Hornets owner George Shinn offers support by spearheading game with Atlanta Hawks




            JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 21, 2009) - During a Monday afternoon press conference inside the Carnegie Hotel, the ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the International Storytelling Center announced that they would be working together to host an NBA exhibition game Oct. 16, 2010 inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.


            The game will feature the New Orleans Hornets and the Atlanta Hawks, and the event is being made possible thanks to the generosity of New Orleans Hornets owner George Shinn and his interest in supporting both the ISC and ETSU athletics.


            "We are thrilled to bring the excitement of New Orleans Hornets Basketball to the fans in East Tennessee," Shinn said. "It's customary for NBA teams to schedule preseason games outside of their home market, and we are so excited that our neighbors in this area will get to see Chris Paul and some of the most talented athletes in the world."


Shinn's desire to get involved in supporting the Northeast Tennessee community began when he and his wife Denise purchased a home in Telford. The Shinns then met Jimmy Neil Smith, founder and president of the International Storytelling Center, and that relationship led to a desire to help raise funds for the ISC. That in turn gave birth to plans to host an NBA exhibition game in Johnson City, which brought ETSU athletics on board.


"We are honored to have George and Denise making such a great impact on our community," Smith said. "We are very pleased that they are generously supporting the families, organizations, and institutions of our region."


            ETSU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dave Mullins said his department is excited to be a part of bringing the NBA to Johnson City.


            "This opportunity does not come around often, and Mr. Shinn's desire to help support our program is something we welcome," Mullins said. "Teaming up with the International Storytelling Center may not seem like a natural fit, but the work we have done and will do over the next year will bring an outstanding event to our community, while also helping raise financial support for both our programs."


            Shinn's desire to help does not end with the ISC or ETSU, as he plans to spend Monday afternoon purchasing Christmas gifts for 20 needy children at the Wal-Mart located off Browns Mills Rd. in Johnson City.


            "Denise and I have a passion for giving back to our communities," Shinn said. "We have owned our Tennessee home since Hurricane Katrina, and we are committed to becoming a part of the fabric of this community since we spend time here. God has blessed us, and it's important for us to share our passion and love with our neighbors and friends."


            Ticket information for the game between the Hornets and Hawks will be released early next year, as well as plans for a special gala event some time prior to the game.


            For more information, contact the ETSU Athletic Media Relations office at (423) 439-4220.