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America Supports You: NBA Trophy Tour to Visit U.S. Military Bases

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2006 – The NBA and Toyota announced April 18 the launch of a 2006 Finals Trophy Tour to five military bases in the heartland of the U.S.

The 2006 Finals Trophy Tour will visit Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., May 13; Fort Leavenworth, Kan., May 19; Fort Bliss, Texas, June 1; Fort Riley, Kan., June 24; and Fort Carson, Colo., July 3, according to an NBA news release. The tour was developed by Toyota and the NBA, in conjunction with the United Service Organizations, to thank the U.S. armed forces for their dedication and service.

The customized tour will provide an exciting finals-themed experience to military personnel and their families, according to the news release. During each stop of the 2006 Trophy Tour, the NBA and Toyota will bring a fleet of finals-themed vehicles, including the specially designed Toyota Tundra "Trophy Mobile," the Larry O'Brien Trophy, an interactive NBA-themed activity center, and NBA players or legends.

"The NBA is proud to partner with Toyota and the USO on executing the 2006 Finals Trophy Tour as a way to thank and honor our military personnel and their families for the service they provide to our country," said Heidi Ueberroth, executive vice president of global media properties and marketing partnerships for the NBA. "Toyota and the NBA focus on creating memorable experiences for NBA fans through unique vehicles and basketball interaction, so we are pleased to deliver the NBA experience and the Larry O'Brien Trophy to five military bases."

The NBA has a long history of support for servicemembers, and NBA players and legends participated on the USO's first tour to Baghdad in 2003, said John Hanson, USO senior vice president for marketing and communications.

"Our military men and women face some of life's most difficult situations in service to our country," said Don Esmond, Toyota's senior vice president and also a Marine Corps helicopter pilot in Vietnam, where he earned a Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross and Purple Heart. "We appreciate their dedication and commitment, and we're glad we can help bring some fun and excitement to everyone at these five bases through the NBA experience."

(Based on an NBA news release.)

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