Springfield, MA, September 24, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- Spirits were high when Travis Best, former NBA starting point guard for the Indiana Pacers, was joined by a legion of sports figures, city officials, friends and family at Pazzo Ristorante on Friday, September 11, during the Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement weekend in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Best in the City, a commemorative event produced by Axiom Blue, served as the launch of the Travis Best Foundation. Designed to benefit underserved youth and non-profit organizations focused on sports and education in Best’s hometown of Springfield, the foundation's mission was lauded by the city’s Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and other political figures in attendance.
Hall of Famer Charles Barkley also turned out to Best in the City, lending his support to Travis Best. A true highlight of the fete, Barkley indulged the crowd with his warm spirit and humor. And to make the night even more spectacular, Barkley joined top DJs Mars and KLS on the turntables, rocking the enthusiastic crowd.
Even when Barkley’s stint on the wheels came to a close, partygoers could not help but move to the pulsating selections being spun by DJ Mars and DJ KLS. DJ Mars, a prominent tour DJ to a who’s who of celebrities including Usher, Neyo, Kheri Hilson and others, was in larger-than-life form. As if the swank ambience of Best in the City couldn’t get any hotter, patrons were also able to enjoy delectable fare prepared by executive chef and Pazzo co-owner Byron White.
Despite a slight September chill in the air, a warm vibe overtook all who descended upon Best in the City. Notably, the signature celebration introduced the foundation to the public, bringing awareness to its mission during a historic Enshrinement weekend. Sponsors of the event included Pazzo Ristorante, Sean Jean, Optical Expressions and Heineken.
"I am thrilled with the number of people that came to celebrate the launch of my foundation," says Travis Best, overwhelmed with enthusiasm. "This launch is the beginning of hard work that will help the youth most at need in my hometown......I couldn't think of a better way to kick off my efforts."
“Travis is a good young man from a great family and he has not forgotten his roots and is now giving back to the youth of our community so that someday future generations can follow in Travis’ footsteps,” stated Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. “Whether it’s the NBA, WNBA, or more importantly educational or business career opportunities, Travis serves as a great role model for the youth of our City.” “I extend my deepest appreciation to Travis for his commitment to our community and for showcasing such a spectacular event that was a great evening for the City of Springfield,” added Sarno.
About Travis Best
Travis Best first garnered national attention during his senior year at Springfield Central High School in Springfield, Massachusetts. He scored 81 points in a game, and was named a high school McDonald's All-American. During his high school career, Best won the John Lahovich (best player in Massachusetts) three times. Highly recruited, he wound up accepting an offer to go to Atlanta and attend Georgia Institute of Technology. Best's four years at Georgia Tech under coach Bobby Cremins were very productive, as he ended his collegiate career with career averages of 16.6 points per game (2,057 points in total), 5.6 assists per game, 3.1 steals per game and 1.8 steals per game. Three times, he was named to the first-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference squad. The Indiana Pacers made him their first-round selection in the 1995 NBA draft (#23 overall). As of the end of the 2002-2003 season, in six-and-a-half seasons with Indiana, half of one season with the Chicago Bulls and one season with the Miami Heat, Travis Best amassed 4,691 points and 2,189 assists. His NBA head coaches have included Larry Bird, Isiah Thomas and Pat Riley.