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24.03.2011 | 17:48
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LOS ANGELES, March 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Direct Relief International, one of the world's leading medical relief organizations, today announced that twenty players from the National Basketball Association (NBA) have committed to supporting the organization in their effort to help the people of Japan recover from the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011.

Many of the players are donating $1,000.00 for every point they score in their respective games occurring March 25-27th including LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol, Al Horford, JaVale McGee, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. Others have committed to a set donation including DJ Augustin, Jarron Collins, Jason Collins, Mike Dunleavy Jr., Tyreke Evans, Danilo Gallinari, Xavier Henry, Antawn Jamison, Jason Kapono, Quincy Pondexter, Brian Scalabrine, Etan Thomas, and Ben Wallace.

The donations will go to Direct Relief's Japan Relief and Recovery Fund. Formed with the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the Fund supports the immediate health needs of people by working with local authorities best situated to assess, respond, and prepare for the long-term recovery.

"We are incredibly proud that our athletes have rallied together to assist with Direct Relief's efforts in Japan," said Arn Tellem, principal of the management division of leading sports marketing and management agency, Wasserman Media Group, that represents the athletes. "Due to the gravity of the situation, we hope that citizens around the world consider following the example of our athletes by making a donation of any amount to an organization of their choice assisting in the Japanese relief efforts."

Direct Relief has already provided emergency funds for the provision of emergency materials for thousands of displaced persons in 20 facilities throughout Miyagi prefecture, with special attention being paid to the needs of persons with disabilities and elderly persons.

"Direct Relief responds to emergencies all around the world, including the U.S., and the scale of the tragedy in Japan is immense by any measure," said Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief International. "These world-class NBA athletes are showing world-class generosity to support people in Japan who need help now and will still need it as the headlines fade. We hope they light up scoreboards this weekend."

There are two ways to help:

1) Donate to the Japan Relief and Recovery Fund at www.directrelief.org/Japanrelief

2) Text "Give10" to 20222 to give $10 to Japan.

--  100% of funds received for the Japan Relief and Recovery Fund will be
        dedicated exclusively to relief and recovery efforts in Japan.
    --  Direct Relief has already committed $1,500,000 in financial support for
        relief efforts in Japan.
    --  Direct Relief's extensive 64-year history of efficient humanitarian
        experience is joined with JACL's extensive network of 112 chapters,
        including its Japan chapter that is coordinating with a broad scope of
        Japanese civic and nonprofit organizations and businesses.

Below is a schedule of this weekend's NBA games and the Wasserman clients that will be donating. Please note those with an asterisk (*) are participating in the $1000 per point challenge:

Friday, March 25th Memphis Grizzlies @ Chicago Bulls Derrick Rose* - Bulls Brian Scalabrine - Bulls Xavier Henry - Grizzlies Marc Gasol* - Grizzlies Sacramento Kings @ Indiana Pacers Mike Dunleavy Jr. - Pacers Tyreke Evans - Kings Detroit Pistons @ Cleveland Cavaliers Ben Wallace - Pistons Antawn Jamison - Cavaliers Washington Wizards @ Denver Nuggets JaVale McGee* - Wizards Danilo Gallinari - Nuggets New Orleans Hornets @ Phoenix Suns Quincy Pondexter - Hornets Los Angeles Clippers @ Los Angeles Lakers Pau Gasol* - Lakers Saturday, March 26th New Jersey Nets @ Atlanta Hawks Jason Collins - Hawks Al Horford* - Hawks Etan Thomas - Hawks New York Knicks @ Charlotte Bobcats DJ Augustin - Bobcats Sunday, March 27th Portland Trail Blazers @ Oklahoma City Thunder LaMarcus Aldridge*-Trailblazers Jarron Collins - Trailblazers Russell Westbrook * - Thunder Sacramento Kings @ Philadelphia 76ers Jason Kapono - 76ers

About Direct Relief International

Direct Relief International is a leading medical relief organization, active in all 50 states and nearly 70 countries. It works with more than 1,000 U.S. nonprofit health clinics in all 50 states to assist in emergencies and an on-going basis, providing them with free medications for people in need. The organization has been among the world's largest medical suppliers in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, has top charity ratings, including four-star and "top-notch" rating from Charity Navigator, and a 100% fundraising efficiency rating from Forbes magazine.

About Wasserman Media Group

Founded in 2002, Wasserman Media Group is a global sports and entertainment company with leadership positions in athlete representation, corporate consulting, properties and media, global sales and business development, and action sports/lifestyle. In addition to representing more than 900 athletes in over 20 sports, Wasserman clients include the New York Jets, the New York Giants, T-Mobile, American Express and Northern Trust.

Wasserman is based in Los Angeles and operates in six cities across the world, including New York, London and Mumbai.

For more information please visit www.wmgllc.com.

CONTACT: Kerri Murray, Direct Relief International (805) 452-7599kmurray@directrelief.org

Stephanie Rudnick, Wasserman Media Group(212) 704-0488srudnick@wmgllc.com

Direct Relief International

© 2011 PR Newswire

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