The Transom sat courtside at the Seventh Annual iStar Charity Shootout on Monday, July 20. Young Knicks fans thronged Madison Square Garden’s basketball court for a chance to play with the Harlem Wizards and former Knicks players Charles Smith and Anthony Mason, along with current players Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari.
“This is such a fun event—raising money for every basket that’s made, you hope everyone makes a basket!” said Bruce Beck of NBC Sports, who was emceeing. “It’s unbelievable. You dream as a kid to play on the Garden court, and now you have a chance to do it at a young age. To get a chance to score on the same court as the Knicks, I think it’s something they’ll remember for a long time.” Mr. Beck told the Transom that in past years, iStar has raised over $500,000 with the evening. Robin Hood, Human Rights First, Teach for America and the Jessica Seinfeld charity Baby Buggy are the 2009 beneficiaries. (Ms. Seinfeld, alas, was not present.)
“We like to get involved,” said Mr. Smith, who retired from the NBA in 1997. “It’s an opportunity for us to lend a hand and give back to some kids and raise money for people who are really in need.”
Mr. Gallinari, the Knicks’ swoon-worthy young Italian stallion, spun a basketball on his fingers while watching pint-size players line up for free throws. The Transom stood on tiptoe to chat with the 6-foot-10 small forward, who turns 21 on August 8. Birthday plans? “I’m going to be in Portugal with friends.” Mr. Gallinari considers New York his second home. “I like the East Village a lot!” Where does he eat? “Via de la Pace, it’s on Seventh Street and Second Avenue. I love it!” he said, before jogging onto the court.
Actors Vivica Fox and Hugh Jackman were around to cheerlead. Mr. Jackman clapped and held up a scorecard of “8” for one attempted trick shot, and from the sidelines Ms. Fox shouted, “Good try, good try, young man!”
“I love basketball!” Ms. Fox told the Transom excitedly. “Is it my favorite? Yeah, it is! But I love tennis, football. I also love boxing. I just recently watched my first UFC fight. It’s so gruesome! I had to look away from the TV a couple times.”
When it was her turn to take a shot, Ms. Fox stood at the three-point line in Stella McCartney stilettos, exclaiming: “I’m representing the divas!” She missed the basket by a hair.