Published December 24, 2016
The NBA on Thursday announced the schedule for its seventh annual Noche Latina program, which once again will celebrate the league's Latin heritage and the growing support of fans across Latin American and in U.S. Hispanic communities.
The latest edition of this initiative will involve in-arena celebrations during games hosted by the Los Angeles Lakers, the Miami Heat, the New York Knicks, the Phoenix Suns, the Chicago Bulls, the Orlando Magic and the San Antonio Spurs.
This season's Noche Latina will begin on Saturday with a game between the Bulls and Brooklyn Nets at the United Center in Chicago.
Noche Latina will include a variety of performances and giveaways, including the National Anthem performed by Mariachi Monumentale de Mexico, color guard presentation by the Roberto Clemente Community Academy ROTC and Latin Rhythms Dance Company performing at halftime.
Also, NBA said on its website, Latin themed music played during pregame and select timeouts throughout the game.
"The Noche Latina program is the perfect example of the NBA's ongoing commitment to celebrate diversity as part of the fabric of our game," NBA Vice President of Multicultural Marketing Saskia Sorrosa said.
"This month-long celebration will bring the excitement of the NBA to Hispanic fans in ways that are culturally relevant."
During the Noche Latina games, the home team will host Hispanic-themed activities that include Latin music, live concerts and prizes.
Players, meanwhile, will wear Adidas-designed uniforms with the names of the teams as they are commonly referred to by the Latino population, for example, "Los Lakers," "Los Spurs," Los Suns," "El Heat," "Los Bulls," "El Magic" and "Nueva York."
Four of those seven teams - the Lakers, Knicks, Spurs and Suns - have Latin American or Spanish players on their rosters.
With additional reporting by EFE.