Some of today’s most well known faces took it to the courts this weekend in Washington D.C. to play some b-ball and raise awareness.
Big Tigger Celebrity Weekend included everything from a comedy show to an oh-so-sexy all-white party. Saturday afternoon, though, it was all about shining a spotlight, not on the famous faces that could be seen in the crowds, but on the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Earlier that day, people were encouraged to come out and participate in an HIV/AIDS initiative, including free screenings and spreading knowledge about the conditions. Then later, in 90-degree weather, some of the hottest athletes and up-and-coming celebs could be seen sweatin’ it out in the very spirited Big Tigger’s Celebrity Classic Basketball Game.
Celebs such as BET’s Terrence J (Rocsi could be seen cheering him on from the sidelines), D.C.-native Wale, Christian Keyes, DC Don Juan and Tank could be seen on the White team, as well as hot athletes like Raylon Edwards and Darnell Dockett. Big Tig played hard for the Black team, stacking his team with powerhouse athletes such as Rock McIntosh and Larry Johnson, who play for the Redskins.
R&B songstress LeToya Luckett showed up in some stylish shades and a ready smile to coached the Black team with actress Denyce Lawton, while ex-106 & Park host Free and “Google Me, Baby”-singer Teyana Taylor direcred the White team.
Make no mistake: There was some serious competition going on, but it looked like the celebs were genuinely enjoying themselves. Vince Carter and Kevin Durant stood out the most in terms of their moves, but Terrence J also had a little bit of footwork.
At halftime, with a score of 34-33 (White team), it was clearly any man’s game. However, when the final whistle blew, Big Tig’s Black team was left in the dust with a score of 94-80. Tigger was a little bitter, but he jokingly vowed, “I’m not gon’ cry!”
Kevin Durant was dubbed MVP with an award named after Tigger’s dad, Frank L. Morgan. “I know this won’t go with all the big trophies, bruh,” Tig said to Kevin with a laugh. “But I appreciate ya!”
This is Tigger’s last Celebrity Weekend, but he’s open to it returning one day. “I’ll never say never,” he said. “There may be another one.”
Tigger made sure, though, that people didn’t forget what the gamin’ was all about. “Lots of things need to change, lots of things need to happen. Lots of people are scared to talk about it still,” he said, referring to the epidemic in D.C., which has spread since last year, even though the rates of testing have increased.
The celebs were well-aware, however. Larry Johnson said, “It was great for everyone to come out and support the AIDS benefit … I didn’t really go into it for winning or losing.”
“Pretty Girls” artist Wale, who always reps hard for the D.C. area, agreed. “I’m very passionate about where I come from,” he said. “I want us to try and spread our wings a little more and try and change things.”
— Ariana Gordon