MIAMI -- The Miami Heat, Florida Prepaid College Board and broadcast partner FOX Sports Sun will join forces to bring young fans in attendance and viewers alike an up close and personal experience during Burnie's Birthday celebration tomorrow when the Heat take on the Philadelphia 76ers at 6:00 p.m. Throughout the evening, children of all ages will have a chance to participate in a host of interactive events both at AmericanAirlines Arena and on the broadcast.
Burnie's Birthday is the annual birthday celebration for the only mascot in Heat history. Beginning at 4:30 p.m., Burnie and his mascot friends will host a variety of activities on the XFINITY East Plaza of the arena including facepainting, balloon animals, an oversized birthday card for Burnie, Heat Dancer autographs (pre-game only) and the kids band, Arrowhead, that will be playing cover songs during pre-game and halftime. AmericanAirlines Arena will open all doors at 5:00 p.m.
Presenting sponsor Florida Prepaid College Board will provide the first 5,000 children in attendance with a "Burnie Growth Chart" giveaway. The National Anthem will be performed by young violinist, Ian Barnett. During halftime, a group of veryyoung Heat fans will compete in the Heat Baby Race presented by Florida Prepaid College Board.
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For the eighth straight season, the Miami Heat FOX Sports Sun production team will call on a host of young "kid-casters" to supplement the veteran team of Eric Reid, Tony Fiorentino and Jason Jackson. Children, and their importance in our lives, will be front and center as a theme throughout the entire broadcast, which begins at 5:00 p.m. with a one-hour edition of Heat Live, presented by Miller Lite. In addition to its charming focus on Heat players and their families, the telecasts have also provided unique opportunities for kids to be involved with the production itself. Children will play roles behind the scenes and in front of the camera, conducting interviews and at times sharing in the broadcast responsibilities of calling the action. The annual showcase for kids has been nominated for and won multiple Emmy Awards in each of the previousseven years it has been presented.
The broadcast will feature specialized graphics, baby and childhood pictures ofHeat players, and an on-court tutorial in the pre-game with Fiorentino and several of the kid-casters. Amar'e Stoudemire and his four children are the focus of a three-part feature series titled Family & Fatherhood, as Jackson recently spent an afternoon at the home of the six-time All-Star. The broadcast will also pay tribute to Adam Fiorello, a courageous young Heat fan battling a rare form of brain cancer with a moving two-part feature. Jackson shares the very heartfelt story of Team Adam and their push to raise awareness for the cause of pediatric cancer.
Jordan Fishman, a 12-year-old seventh grader from Miami Country Day School, is slated to join Reid and Fiorentino during the second quarter for play-by-play commentary in addition to interviewing a Heat assistant coach at halftime. In the third quarter, 14-year-old Raj Kumar, an eighth grader at Pinecrest Preparatory School, will join the Heat broadcast team to take his turn at calling the game. Thirteen year-old Daniel Sintes is a seventh grade student at Palmetto Middle School and will be posted alongside Jackson throughout the game for sideline hits and player interviews. The St. Patrick School in Miami Beach will be represented by 10-year-old Katelyn Manso, the daughter of Heat host and reporter Will Manso, who will conduct hits from the Heat store and deliver the sponsored billboards throughout the game.
Ron's Rewind will have a Kids Day feel as Coach Rothstein's two basketball-playing teenage grandsons, Aidan and Lucas, join him at halftime and during post-game to break down the action in the Biscayne Bayside Studio. And making her fourth appearance on Kids Day, 19-year-old University of Virginia freshman Cassie Crotty, the daughter of Heat radio and TV analyst John Crotty, will join her dad and Mike Inglis on the English radio broadcast and for a special familyedition of Crotty's Cuts during the FOX Sports Sun post-game edition of Heat Live.
For the sixth consecutive season, FOX Sports Sun will give six young students from KEC-Canal Point Elementary School the opportunity to serve in a host of technical capacities. Among its many accolades, the school has been honored by the Florida Department of Education for several of its public service announcements focusing on literacy. The students will have achance to operate cameras, assist with videotape and audio production and even supply direction for parts of the telecast.
For more information on Burnie's Birthday, please visit Heat.com.