With the final months of the season winding down and the Washington Wizards hoping to secure a postseason spot when playoffs start April 15, the team has plenty of exciting events happening on and off the court.
“For February, we celebrate Black History Month and we’re really proud of the platform we’ve built,” says Hunter Lochmann, chief marketing officer of the Washington Wizards. “We have five home games in the month and there’s a theme revolving around Black history every game.”
For instance, the team will once again honor Dr. Edwin Bancroft (E.B.) Henderson, considered the grandfather of Black basketball, by hosting an essay contest for all DMV high school students. Winners will receive $6,000 in scholarships. The team will also name a new recipient of the Washington Wizards E.B. Henderson Team Award, which last year went to Anthony Gill.
As part of the Wizards’ 25th-anniversary celebration (they were known as the Washington Bullets until 1997), the team will issue bobbleheads of three of its most popular players: Antawn Jamison on February 11, Caron Butler on March 18 and Gilbert Arenas on March 31.
The Wizards will don the popular cherry blossom jersey on March 24 for the designated cherry blossom night. Working closely with the Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C., the theme will extend to the court and throughout the game. There will also be a special cherry blossom hat designed by point guard Monté Morris made available.
On March 8, the team celebrates women’s night; Hispanic heritage night will be on March 14; a special sneaker night will be held March 18; and for the fifth year in a row, the Wizards will host Pride night on March 28.
“We have such a diverse and awesome fan base,” Lochmann says. “There will be something for everyone at every game.”
Another exciting event should be happening on the court this spring. All-star Bradley Beal — should he stay healthy and playing his best — will become the Wizards’ all-time scorer sometime around April, surpassing Elvin Hayes who sits at 15,551 points as the franchise leader.
“It should be an exciting time,” Lochmann says.
Wizards’ New Broadcast Team: The Big 3
Currently, the trio is the only all-Black broadcast crew in the NBA, following in the footsteps of Charlotte’s Eric Collins, Dell Curry and Stephanie Ready who worked together from 2015-2021.
Miller was the team’s sideline reporter and a fill-in play-by-play announcer last season. He was elevated to the full-time role this year. He is beloved for his calls on the court.
Gooden is a 14-year NBA veteran who played 790 games for 10 teams, including two stints with Washington. He averaged 11 points per game during his career and now adds insightful commentary game after game.
And McPeak worked play-by-play for the Capital City Go-Go and the Washington Mystics before joining the Wizards team this year.
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