Celebrity game tips off tonight at Arco Arena | TheUnion.com

Celebrity game tips off tonight at Arco Arena

Being able to hang with celebrities can be a gift, but giving back is what’s truly become the Christmas present for one local resident.

Tonight, the MaddBacker Foundation, led by former NFL player Adrian Ross, will be hosting its sixth annual celebrity basketball game at Arco Arena. The game has drawn the participation of elite notables from the area and beyond, including the likes of Jerry Rice, Cincinnati Bengal Chad Johnson, the Maloof brothers, Sacramento King Ron Artest and comedian Bill Bellamy.

The event itself has been helped marketed by Penn Valley resident Kevin Brown, who is also a former NFL player and was a coach last year with Nevada Union’s junior varsity football team.

Brown, 37, got into the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Arizona Cardinals. After getting injured in training camp, he moved on to the now defunct NFL Europe, playing for the Nuremberg Rams.

Afterward, “I was looking to get back into the NFL. I was preparing but I crushed my right ankle playing pickup basketball and that was it for me,” he said.

He shifted his focus to marketing, getting a job with the PGA in Canada, where he met his wife. He eventually moved on to work with the Houston Rockets, where he started to build his Rolodex and see the power and influence major sports have.

“I like marketing. The networking side of it has been good to me,” Brown said, who has been helping to plan the MaddBacker Celebrity game for the last two months. “After I left the PGA and was with the Houston Rockets for a little while, I was pretty successful. I started to get invited to special events by celebrities. I thought it was pretty neat that people had a job to coordinate celebrity events and in turn give back to the community. I thought it was a win-win.”

This time around, the benefits of Brown’s work will go to Sacramento area community centers selected by Ross and his foundation, with the Make-A-Wish Foundation getting a cut as well. After moving to this area for his wife’s job, getting back into marketing is helping him do what he loves.

“I plan on getting back into it full time,” said Brown, who has resurrected his Epiphany Sports Marketing company.

First things first: Getting through the MaddBacker Celebrity game.

“I’m looking forward to meeting Jerry (Rice),” Brown said.

MaddBacker benefit

What: MaddBacker celebrity basketball game

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Arco Arena, Sacramento

Cost: $10 for kids, $20 for adults, $35 preferred seating, $200 courtside seating. Tickets available at Arco Arena and Ticketmaster.

For more information: http://www.maddbacker.com

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