DETROIT, March 6, 2017— On Sunday, March 19, 11-year-old Caleb Neubecker and his basketball team, the Mount Pleasant Oilers, will watch the Detroit Pistons take on the Phoenix Suns and join Hooper’s birthday celebration as the winners of the 2017 #MIKidsCan Pistons VIP Experience, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Detroit Pistons. Hooper, the Detroit Pistons mascot, will be accompanied by his mascot friends from various Michigan teams as part of the birthday festivities, to participate in a special meet and greet with Caleb and his team. “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Detroit Pistons are committed to highlighting the importance of children’s health and the #MIKidsCan Pistons VIP Experience is a great way to get kids excited about regular physical activity and team exercise,” said Andrew Hetzel, vice president of Corporate Communications at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “We’re looking forward to hitting the court and celebrating with this dedicated group of young athletes on March 19.” Caleb Neubecker was chosen from more than 200 entries to the #MIKidsCan Pistons VIP Experience contest. All entrants were required to submit an answer to the question, “How has basketball helped you live a healthier life?” The contest, opened to players between the ages of eight and 18, aims to highlight the importance of children’s health. The National Council of Youth Sports reports that children who participate in team activities are exposed to a wide range of physical, emotional, social and educational benefits. As part of the #MIKidsCan Pistons VIP Experience, Caleb and his team will enjoy:
- A VIP pre-game experience in the President’s Club
- Meet and greet with a Pistons player, Hooper and his mascot friends
- Game tickets for up to 14 members of the team and chaperones to watch the Detroit Pistons play against the Phoenix Suns
"The #MIKidsCan Pistons VIP Experience is a great way to encourage kids to be active through sports, engage a healthy and active lifestyle and reward participation with an opportunity to enjoy a Pistons game," said Charlie Metzger, executive vice president and chief marketing & communications officer for Palace Sports & Entertainment. “We congratulate Caleb on winning the #MIKidsCan Pistons VIP Experience and look forward to hosting him and the Mount Pleasant Oilers when the Pistons take on the Suns." The #MIKidsCan Pistons VIP Experience supports Blue Cross’s ongoing commitment to encouraging kids to establish healthy habits early in life that are more likely to be carried into adulthood. Over the last 11 years, Blue Cross has given more than $6.5 million in support of kids’ health and wellness initiatives across the state, reaching over 230,000 children in more than 500 schools. For more information on the sweepstakes or Blue Cross’ ongoing efforts to help improve childhood health, visit AHealthierMichigan.org/mikidscan or follow #MIKidsCan on Twitter. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.6 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.