Jamison Fills Void Left in Charlotte

Charlotte, NC ­- For the past 13 years, New Orleans Hornets Owner George Shinn and members of the Hornets front office staff and their families spent Christmas Eve afternoon fitting and providing shoes for homeless men at the Uptown Men's Shelter/George Shinn Center on North Tryon Street in Charlotte.

With Shinn and the Hornets move to New Orleans, the shoe program was going to be something of the past until former Tar Heel National Player of the Year Antawn Jamison decided to step in.

"It hurt me to think that there are people in my hometown who are cold and sad at Christmas time," said Jamison, captain of the NBA's Golden State Warriors. "I had heard about George Shinn and the Hornets' Christmas Shoe Program and wondered what would become of it when they left. When I found out that it would not continue without someone else's support, it wasn't a hard decision for me to step in and help out. If I can make the men at Uptown more comfortable and lift their spirits with these shoes, I'll do it. The holidays seem like the appropriate time to let these folks know they are not forgotten and that some of us really do care about them."

Jamison is purchasing the shoes from the Shoe Show Department store in Concord, N.C. for around $4,000. The Shoe Program will be held on Monday, December 23 at 2:00 pm EST at the Uptown Shelter. Jamison's NBA schedule won't permit him to attend.

This is the first event of Jamison's "A Better Tomorrow" campaign which is being designed to provide service projects in Charlotte help encourage academics and help those less fortunate. He plans on executing multiple events in 2003 with the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System to reward students for hard work and providing scholarships for student athletes at his former high school, Providence.

The annual shoe giveaway was begun by Shinn when the Hornets franchise was first awarded to Charlotte. He chaired the $4.2 million fundraising campaign in 1988 to provide the Shelter. Shinn and the Hornets had remained allied with the Shelter during the ensuing years before their move to New Orleans.

For more information, please call Jamison's local public relations contact, Livis Freeman, at 919-389-3486.

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