JOEL ANTHONY NAMED TOURISM AMBASSADOR FOR 2012Monday 5th November 2012
One day after receiving his NBA Championship ring,for the 2011-2012 basketball season, Miami Heat center player Joel Anthony has been appointed Tourism Ambassador for Antigua and Barbuda.
Born to an Antiguan mother, Erene Anthony, Joel's accomplishments as a professional basketball were recognized on Wednesday night at the 9th Annual Independence State Banquet at the Sandals Grande Resort and Spa.
Anthony signed a one-year deal (with an option for a second) with Miami in July 2007. He made 24 appearances that season, averaging 3.5 points and 3.9 rebounds. The following year Anthony made his NBA playoff debut during Miami's first round series with the Atlanta Hawks. Miami lost the series 4–3. He was re-signed by the Heat in July 2009.
With Miami's high profile free agent signings of LeBron James and Chris Bosh in July 2010 much hype surrounded the team with its new self-proclaimed "Big Three". On July 16, 2010, Joel Anthony re-signed with the Miami Heat on a five-year, $18 million deal. During the 2011-2012 season, Joel won his first NBA title with the Miami Heat against the Oklahoma City Thunder. On the court, Joel Anthony is referred to as "The Warden".
From an early age, Joel traveled Antigua to spend summer vacations and thanks his mother for affording him an opportunity to keep his connections to Antigua and Barbuda intact. Last August, Joel celebrated his 30th birthday with friends and family at the family home in Old Road.
Anthony was unable to travel to Antigua and Barbuda to accept the Tourism Award because the State Banquet coincided with the start of the the basketball season and a premier match between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. The Heats won a convincing victory 120 to 107 and Anthony sent a video taped acceptance message which was played at Wednesday's State Banquet. His aunt, Nurse Florence Anthony accepted the Award on his behalf.
The designation of Tourism Ambassador was developed in 2007 as part of the marketing plan for the US Tourism Office. The goal of this program is to develop stronger ties with nationals and their descendants in the Diaspora and to highlight the “One Family” theme that is heralded during the Independence/Homecoming celebrations.
Each year a successful A & B national or descendant in the Diaspora is honored as a key influencer who will engage in nation building activities and leverage his/her media platform, networks and credentials to help extend the destination’s promotional efforts.
According to Anthony "I look forward to mentoring the youth, engaging in destination promotions and nation building activities." Anthony will assist the Tourism team and other government agencies along with fellow Tourism Ambassadors: actress Marianne Jean-Baptiste, TV host, author and fashion stylist June Ambrose and actress Anna Maria Horsford.
Click here to view Anthony's acceptance speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fukNF7oISa8&feature=youtube
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