On Wednesday, Al Horford and Sprint put on a Unique Fan Experience as part of an expansion to their 4G LTE network. It was a series of events where Al Horford met with fans in the area through a set of three events to promote community.
First, Al Horford played a game of SPRINT (HORSE) with a group of fans at the Peachtree Hills Park gym. There was stiff competition from one man, who matched three pointers with Horford for an extended amount of time. A group of local elementary school kids sat to the side and oohed and ahhed at every difficult shot. The man in a white t-shirt (see pictures below) held out for a long time, hitting long three pointers for Horford to match and eventually made the Atlanta Hawks take an “I”, but Horford put him away with a three at the top of the key.
The next part was an abbreviated game of HORSE (dubbed LTE) with three students of the local elementary school. Needless to say, there was little competition, other than from one precocious little Kyle Korver. I can direct you to my Youtube page for some video from both games.
I was able to ask Al Horford a question about his thoughts of this event and what it meant to be a part of event like this. He said he favorite part was the atmosphere. The game of horse was something like what kids would play at a neighborhood blacktop, although Horford admitted he was glad the competition was held inside in with the air conditioning .He was very enthusiastic about putting on a show for the kids, even lifting one up for a dunk at one point.
Instead of embedding a ton of photos that would take up a vast amount of space, I decided to put together an album. You can hit “start” to have it automatically rotate through the pictures or “>>” to advance through them manually. Or just head to this Flickr set. (I apologize in advance, I’m nowhere close to a professional photographer. All I had handy was my iPhone 3GS and its puny 3 megapixels.)
Upon taking photos with the participants of LTE, Horford was whisked off to the GameStop in Lenox Mall, where he played NBA 2K13 with some fans and passers-by. I was able to combat his Atlanta Hawks with the Oklahoma City Thunder for a quarter, draining three pointers with ease using Kevin Durant. The picture to the right is not me but as soon as Sprint uploads the pictures to their Facebook page, I can direct you to it.
Unfortunately, I had to head home before the last segment, due to some undisclosed family issues, just before Horford was to sign autographs at the Sprint store in Lenox Mall. I headed home early, knowing I had to fight the Atlanta traffic on the downtown connector, so it was an unfortunate end to my day. Still, the experience was very enjoyable and I'm thankful I could be a part of it.
Overall, the day of events showed how the Atlanta Hawks, through sponsorship with Sprint, try to give back to the fans. Throughout the entire event, Al Horford was upbeat and seemed very exciting to be sharing time with the fans and people in the community. Al Horford is known around the league as one of the most open player to talk to, whether it be in the locker room after a game or around the city of Atlanta. He did nothing to deflect that label and, along the way, possibly inspired kids to go for their academic and athletic dreams. I invite you to check out more on Sprint's Forum Blog.