Men and women of the FDNY squared off against the NYPD in the NBA’s NY Heroes exhibition game, all for a good cause.
The game was a part of a series of special events surrounding NBA All-Star Week 2015, as well as one of the celebrations of the FDNY’s 150th anniversary year.
Spectators filled the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Sun., Feb. 15 to watch all-stars and legends from the NBA and WNBA team up with the FDNY and NYPD. The first-ever “New York’s Bravest versus Finest” game partnered the NBA with the FDNY Foundation and the NYPD Foundation’s Heroes Fund.
As a part of the game, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, Police Commissioner William Bratton and NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier participated in the ceremonial delivery of the official game ball ahead of tip-off.
“Each day the FDNY and NYPD work closely to keep our city safe; but now, we’ve come together to showcase the athleticism of our members for two very worthy causes,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. “We are thrilled to celebrate our 150th anniversary with the NBA and to spread awareness of the important fire safety work we do. Everyone is a winner here.”
“The New York City Police Department is proud to participate in this inaugural event which will show the true spirit of the Finest and the Bravest,” said Police Commissioner William J. Bratton. “Together with the NBA, our two historic departments will join together to play for two exceptionally worthy foundations.”
FDNY players included Mike Norris of Ladder 149 in Brooklyn, Melissa Bennett of Engine 257 in Brooklyn, Tyler Schulz of Ladder 34 in Manhattan, Steven Hughes of Engine 83 in the Bronx, Sean Beirne of Engine 229 in Brooklyn, Desmin James of Engine 83 in the Bronx, Jason Durecout of Engine 83 in the Bronx and James Kennedy of Ladder 170 in Brooklyn.
NBA legends coached and played alongside the participants from each team. The FDNY team was joined former NBA stars Muggsy Bogues and Felipe Lopez, along with the WNBA’s Kalana Greene, while the NYPD team featured former NBA stars AC Green, John Wallace and the WNBA’s Ruth Riley. Sports radio talk show hosts Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton served as the honorary coaches
“This was such a great experience! It’s for charity, so that’s the most important thing, ” said Sean Beirne of Engine 229 in Williamsburg. “It was nice to compete against the NYPD, we don’t get to do things like this very often. It’s great of the NBA to put this together for us.”
The game was just one of several special events promoting NBA All-Star Week 2015. Other events at the Barclays Center included the NBA Development League All-Star Game, which took place after the NY Heroes game. Events to commemorate the week started Thurs., Feb. 12.
At the end of the game, the NBA presented checks to both the FDNY Foundation and NYPD Foundation’s Heroes Fund.
“We are so grateful to the NBA for the opportunity to highlight the work of the FDNY,” said FDNY Foundation Board Chairman Stephen Ruzow. “Their support will continue to help the Foundation in its mission to save lives.”
“During All-Star week, the NBA reaches fans across the world,” said FDNY Foundation Executive Director Jean O’Shea. “We are proud to be a part of this global event and to celebrate the FDNY’s milestone anniversary by reaching new audiences and sharing our message of fire safety.”
In the end, the NYPD’s Finest emerged victorious, with a 40-33 victory over the FDNY’s Bravest.
If you weren’t able to make it to the game but would like to support the critical work of the FDNY, click here.
“Each day the FDNY and NYPD work closely to keep our city safe; but now, we've come together to showcase the athleticism of our members for two very worthy causes."