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BIG3 gearing up for all-star basketball play

We chatted up former Detroit Pistons Bad Boy Rick Mahorn over dinner at Capital Grille the other night. Catching up on a number of things, Rick was most excited about his new coaching position with the BIG3. “Our first game is at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on June 25,” says Rick. “These games are going to be very exciting. This new league will give a second basketball life to NBA legends.”

The BIG3, which is co-founded by Ice Cube, is an American 3-on-3 professional basketball league using superstar players. The entire league is operated and managed by the players. “No outsiders or politics,” Rick adds. “It’s all about highly competitive basketball played as it’s meant to be.”

After the debut on June 25, the games will take place each Saturday throughout the country for 10 weeks. Rick promises that they will pack the energy of All-Star Weekend with players on the roster like Chauncey Billups, Rashard Lewis and Mike Bibby. There are eight teams of five players, with one coach per team. Each game will offer fan events, halftime shows, exhibits and after-parties. In addition to Mahorn, other coaches include Julius “Dr. J” Erving, and Allen Iverson.

Party celebrates honors for Bistro 82 in Royal Oak

The very dashing Aaron F. Belen was over the moon Monday night as he hosted about 150 people at his posh spot, Bistro 82, in Royal Oak. The occasion was a celebration of the restaurant being named Restaurant of the Year by Hour Detroit Magazine. As guests mingled, they were treated to a full top-shelf bar, a champagne bar, an oyster station and a never-ending parade of delectable dishes including lamb chops, crab salad, smoked short rib sliders and a pork belly bao. The magazine’s editor, Steve Wilke, presented Belen with a commemorative plaque.

DIA focusing on inclusion, community

The National Conference of Artists Michigan and Northwest Activities Center hosted the Detroit Institute of Arts’ CEO Salvador Salort-Pons Wednesday night. An estimated 165 people gathered in NWAC’s theater for the “Director’s Cut,” featuring Salort-Pons’ initiative to communicate with the people within the communities of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. He spoke of inclusion and expansion and the goal to build the DIA’s Art collection to reflect the population of all the people in the tri-county communities. The evening ended with a question-and-answer segment that seemed to excite many of the artists in attendance when they learned local artists would be part of the inclusion plan.

Chuck Bennett hosts “Chuck’s Closet,” which broadcasts every Saturday from 4-5 p.m. on Super Station 910AM. He is also the Fox 2 News Style Ambassador.

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