NBA All-Star 2024 Host Committee Creates Love Letters to Basketball Concept
Writer / Jaylan Noelle
Pacers Sports & Entertainment (PSE) is taking Hoosier hospitality to a new level as they welcome guests for NBA All-Star 2024.
Tens of thousands of people from around the world will travel to Indianapolis, drop their bags in their hotel rooms, and find a handwritten note – A Love Letter to Basketball.
The NBA All-Star 2024 Host Committee has collected more than 8,000 postcards that tell personal, unique stories from Hoosiers who all share a love for the game.
“We thought about ways that we could ensure that guests get that special touch,” said Daniel Lopez, vice president of external relations and corporate communications for PSE.
The committee intentionally did not make the postcards available on the internet, but instead went around to high school basketball games, elementary schools, organizations and corporations to collect the notes in person. As the title sponsor of the 2023 State Fair, the team collected many of the letters there.
Though they all begin with “Dear Basketball,” each postcard tells a unique story. Some notes are sentimental and others are funny. Some tell stories and others feature stick figures. All of them share what basketball means to fans and players, young and old.
“We know that we’ve got a sort of unique relationship with the game here in Indiana because of our tradition and history, and this was an idea that came to light,” Lopez said.
Corey Wilson, vice president for community engagement with PSE and executive director of the Pacers Foundation, and his team collected 1,500 letters at a Carmel High School basketball game last month.
While collecting the letters, Willson said he was struck by how personal the stories were. Some letters offer thanks to basketball for giving them their dream job or bringing them joy, while others recall especially memorable championships, seasons, teams and coaches. One letter shared that the writer didn’t have much of a connection with their father until they started playing basketball together.
“Those are the kind of things where you’re like, ‘Wow, I can’t make that up,’” Wilson said. “It’s been amazing.”
Wilson even wrote a love letter of his own. In the letter, Wilson remembers a time when he met former Pacers player Chuck Person at an event. Wilson now works in the department that made that meaningful experience possible all those years ago.
The campaign, according to Wilson, shows guests just how serious Indiana is about hospitality and basketball.
“To be able to get 8,000 letters is not an easy feat, but it is achievable simply because the love for the game is definitely here,” Wilson said.
Though Wilson said he hopes to have all of the love letters collected weeks before the event, he encourages anyone interested in writing a letter to visit nba.com/allstar and click “Love Letters to Basketball” under the “Community” tab.
Indianapolis won the bid on hosting the 2021 All-Star Game in 2017 before it was rescheduled due to the pandemic. After almost seven years of planning, the 2024 All-Star weekend is sure to be a memorable event for all. The 2024 NBA All-Star Game will be Sunday, February 18. Various events will also take place Friday and Saturday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indiana Convention Center, including the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, the Slam Dunk Contest and more.
Lopez said there will even be attractions for those who aren’t huge basketball fans.
“All-Stars are different from pretty much any other sport in that this is more than basketball,” Lopez said. “It’s really much more of an arts and culture type event.”
A list of events and ticket information are available at nba.com/allstar.