Hello, Cleveland – NBA All-Star weekend is finally here with plenty to celebrate and watch

The Cavaliers kicked off the weekend last night with a start of the art interactive art piece. There's also plenty more to be aware of this weekend as well.

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To kick off the start of NBA All-Star weekend in Cleveland Rocket Mortgage and FAILE Studio teamed up with the Cleveland Cavaliers to present RocketTron, an immersive video art game experience at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The new attraction, which is the first-of-its-kind in an NBA arena, includes Rocket Mortgage HotShot, a Cavaliers and Cleveland-themed digital pop-a-shot style game introducing fans to a visual and interactive experience where art, technology and sports intersect.

“Live sporting events are already exhilarating experiences, but at Rocket Mortgage, we are always looking for ways to dial up that excitement even higher,” said Casey Hurbis, Chief Marketing Officer of Rocket Mortgage. “This unique installation showcases what’s possible when passions collide – pairing a sport we all love with amazing art, to create a meaningful and memorable experience for fans.”

As part of the RocketTron installation, FAILE Studio – a multi-media creative studio and an extension of the artistic collaboration between Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller – created Rocket Mortgage HotShot, a custom arcade game and experience that is part canvas and part sculptural object. In the pop-a-shot style game, players race against the clock to make as many baskets as possible within 60 seconds. Fans take the shots using their mobile phone as a controller, and the action is displayed on one of four 75-inch digital displays embedded within the art installation. The platform tracks daily high scores, all-time ranks and creates history tracking lists for future competition.

FAILE Studio drew inspiration for the RocketTron installation from the colorful aesthetic of old-school, pixel-based video games, immersive LED lighting and street culture signage. The installation features an array of colorful, popular characters and personalities tied to the city – including Cavaliers mascots Moondog and Sir C.C. An overall mix of dazzle-style graphics in the installation highlights the energy and freshness found in basketball culture and the strength of the city of Cleveland.

“We love immersing ourselves in the culture of different brands and institutions. After being invited into the public art collection of the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and the Cavaliers by Library Street Collective several years ago – we had a new opportunity to extend that and create a unique experience for the fans that celebrates both brands, basketball and the local culture,” said Miller. “Bringing art to life through games is a great way to connect to the thrill of play while still being immersed in a beautiful visual medium.”

The new art installation expands upon the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse Public Art Program that was curated by renowned Detroit-based art gallery Library Street Collective. The program was introduced in September of 2019 as part of the venue’s major transformation. RocketTron is the second work from FAILE in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse’s collection, the first being the artistic duo’s DEFEND THE LAND stone mosaic.

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On Wednesday evening the Cleveland Cavaliers unveiled RocketTron, the first of its kind piece of fan interactive art, to the public to kick off All-Star Weekend festivities.

The Cavaliers debuting RocketTron to the public was the perfect way to kick off All-Star Weekend festivities. But, it's not the only thing that will be taking place on the shores of Lake Erie this weekend. Here is a quick run down of everything about the weekend as well as what will be taking place:

2022 NBA All-Star Weekend overview – Welcome to The Land!

February is here and the NBA All-Star Game is coming back to Cleveland at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Sunday, February 20. For the first time in 25 years, the city of Cleveland will host NBA All-Star weekend. The weekend consists of many more events than just the All-Star Game. Some will be held at the Wolstein Center, home of the Cleveland Charge, while the big events will be at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers. There will also be special health and safety protocols in place due to COVID-19. Here is an overview of the schedule for All-Star festivities for the entire weekend. Click here to read more.

The inaugural NBA HBCU Classic will be played at Wolstein Center during All-Star Weekend

The NBA today announced the first-ever NBA HBCU Classic presented by AT&T will be simulcast on TNT and ESPN2 on Saturday, February 19 at 2 p.m. ET as part of NBA All-Star 2022. The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) matchup between the Howard University and Morgan State University men’s basketball teams will take place at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio. As part of the NBA’s and AT&T’s respective ongoing commitments to HBCUs, they will donate $100,000 to each school’s athletic department, totaling $200,000, to support facility upgrades, student-athlete academic resources and health and wellness services. Click here to read more.

2022 All-Star Weekend overview – Garland, Mobley and Allen represent Cavaliers during Skills Challenge

The NBA announced on Tuesday night a new format and the participants for the 2022 Taco Bell Skills Challenge, a team competition that will feature two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, fellow 2022 NBA All-Star Darius Garland of the Cleveland Cavaliers and four participants in the 2022 Clorox Rising Stars. This marks the first time the Cavaliers will have participants compete in the Skills Challenge since 2012 (Kyrie Irving) and fifth time overall (LeBron James in 2006 and 2007, Mo Williams in 2009 and Irving in 2012). Click here to read more.

NBA, NBPA and Cavaliers to contribute more than $3 million to multiple greater Cleveland and HBCU communities during All-Star 2022

As part of NBA All-Star 2022, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) will work alongside local community organizations to provide programming and support that focus on youth, education, health equity, food insecurity and economic inclusion. Additionally, building off the success of NBA All-Star 2021, the league will again uplift the HBCU community as part of the weekend and empower the next generation of leaders. More than $3 million will be contributed to the Greater Cleveland and HBCU communities through these combined efforts. Click here to read more.

The NBA G League Next Gem game is the next step for Cleveland Charge and the G League overall

Not only that, but this year's All-Star celebration is also adding new mainstays to the lineup, including the NBA G League Next Gem Game. The inaugural Next Gem game will pit the Cleveland Charge, the G League affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers, against the G League Ignite Team, which features some of the NBA's latest up-and-coming young talent. The Charge are loaded with hoops talent ready to land their spot in the NBA and have had several NBA call-ups so far this season. Click here to read more.

Cleveland Rockers star Chasity Melvin opens up about what she considers the best part of her professional career

Although it's a time to celebrate for the NBA it's also a time for players to celebrate as well. Many former NBA and WNBA legends will flock to downtown Cleveland to partake in the festivities. But, for a WNBA great and Cleveland Rockers legend like Chasity Melvin, it's a bit of a homecoming as well. Click here to read more.

There will be plenty more to come this weekend, including some exclusive stories with current and former Cavaliers players. So, make sure you subscribe so you don't miss anything going forward. It's going to be a fun, memorable weekend in Cleveland as it becomes the center of the basketball world for the first time in over two decades.

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