By Jack Barnes

Time Inc.’s (NYSE:TIME) Essence Festival® presented by Coca-Cola® will partner with Team Hope NOLA, a foundation started by Hip Hop Mogul Master P benefiting New Orleans youth through basketball and community driven events, by hosting a one-of-a-kind celebrity basketball game as part of the previously announced “Day of Service” activation. Players will include celebrities Ray J, Trey Songz, Romeo Miller, Mystikal, and Curren$y, along with former NBA players Chris Jackson, Robert Pack, Caron Butler, Ben Gordon and more.
“We are thrilled to be expanding our Day of Service partnership with Master P and Team Hope Nola with the Festival’s first-ever charity basketball game,” said Joy Profet, General Manager of Essence. “Master P and Team Hope Nola have enlisted an incredible star-studded lineup who are eager to use their platform in effort to raise funds that will continually support New Orleans students with the necessary tools to enable future success.”

The charity basketball game will take place on June 29th, 2017 at 4PM at the Xavier University of Louisiana Convocation Center in New Orleans, LA. Tickets will be open to the public and priced at $25.00 for General Admission and $100.00 for courtside seats. Funds raised from tickets sales will benefit the previously announced scholarship fund developed by Essence and Team Hope NOLA to benefit New Orleans youth.

“I reached out to some of my colleagues and friends and told them what we are doing to help raise money for the children in New Orleans and the response has been overwhelming,” said Percy “Master P” Miller. “It is extremely important to be able to help the young people from my hometown – these children are challenged with so much. This is just my way of giving back and we can have some family fun doing it,” continued Miller.

Players for the Festival and Team Hope Nola “Day of Service” Celebrity Basketball Game include:
  • Master P
  • Trey Songz
  • Romeo Miller
  • Silkk The Shocker
  • Ray J
  • Terrence J
  • Trombone Shorty
  • Juvenile
  • Doug E Fresh
  • Mystikal
  • Anthony Mackie
  • Raymond Brothers
  • Curren$y
  • Kidd Kidd
  • Scrappy
  • Jacoby Jones
  • Young Joc
  • Former NBA Players: Chris Jackson, Robert Pack, Caron Butler and Ben Gordon

For more information on the celebrity basketball game and ticket information, please visit:

For information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest news about the Festival, visit, and join the festival community on Twitter@essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of Festival on Facebook.

The ESSENCE Festival® is executive produced by ESSENCE Festivals LLC, a division of ESSENCE Communications Inc., and is produced by Solomon Group. The ESSENCE®Empowerment Experience is executive produced by GeChar.

Sponsors of the 2017 ESSENCE Festival® in New Orleans include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola® and major sponsors AT&T, Ford, McDonald’s, State Farm and Walmart.

About Essence Communications Inc.
Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media company dedicated to African-American women, with a brand reach of 21.2 million. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events and online, ECI is comprised of Essence magazine, the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; the ESSENCE Festival®; Black Women in Hollywood and Black Women in Music events; Window on Our Women and Smart Beauty consumer insights series;; and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD).

About Time Inc.
Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) is one of the world’s leading media companies, with a monthly global print audience of over 120 million and worldwide digital properties that attract more than 150 million visitors each month, including over 60 websites. Our influential brands include People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Time, Real Simple, and Southern Living, as well as more than 50 diverse titles in the United Kingdom.

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