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NBA All Star Weekend 2020 kicks off with Dunbar High School visit, Rainbow PUSH fundraiser, gospel concert

ABC 7 Chicago logo ABC 7 Chicago 2/14/2020 WLS
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Thursday's basketball game at Dunbar High School was an exhibition game, meaningless in the season standings. But the student athletes will always remember the day they got to go up against a team of former NBA and WNBA players on their home court.

RELATED: NBA All-Star Game: Everything you need to know

The retired players were there as part of the NBA All Star Game festivities, but they are determined to make the experience about more than just basketball.

"They got a little bit of everything, including real life stories and they get to feel and touch NBA legends which means a lot," said Marva Nichols with Dunbar High School.

Players talked to the kids about investing, and managing their finances. Their status as former professional athletes got the attention of many students.

"The number one message is, do your best in school and put education first," said Jerome Williams, who played one season with the Chicago Bulls in his nine-year NBA career.

Around the city the NBA All Star Weekend is having an impact. Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis was back at his alma mater, Perspectives Charter School (Joplin campus) to unveil AD's Lab, which encourages hands-on creative learning with different learning stations.

At Dunbar they went a step further, handing out college scholarships to nine students, including Teasiah Lewis, who has the top GPA in the senior class.

"A lot of classes don't really teach you about investing but today they gave us a lot of information," she said.

While it's unlikely any of the students here are future NBA stars, the message was that they can all go to college, and they can all start to invest in their futures now.

"It is highlighted through real life examples. If I use my money today in smart ways what can it do for me tomorrow?" said Jesse Bridges with EverFi, a financial services company.

Reverend Jesse Jackson and Rainbow PUSH Coalition also hosted a Welcome to Chicago NBA All Star event Thursday night.

The NBA All-Star Gospel Choir held its 13th annual celebration Thursday night as well.

The choir is made up of current and retired players, and is led by former NBA player Terry "TC" Cummings.

A special tribute was also held tonight for Kobe Bryant, with his former teammates remembering him.

The theme for the celebration was "A Time to Heal."

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