By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
The Boston Celtics -- past and present -- are reuniting.
On Friday, September 30 Marquis Daniels, Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, and Nate Robinson will suit up as teammates in the Southern Hospitality Showcase Atlanta 2011, a competitive, fast-paced "pick-up" style game featuring over 20 NBA players.
Along with the currentformer Celtics, other NBA players slated to participate include John Wall, Jason Terry, Stephen Jackson, Josh Howard, Al Harrington, JJ Hickson, Josh Selby, and Trey Thompkins. Additional players are expected to be announced.
The event will take place at Morehouse Colleges Forbes Arena and is presented by Daniels organization, the Q6 Foundation, as well as SLAM Magazine, Victory H2O, C9 by Champion, The V Firm, and The Cube Lounge.
With players traveling around the country during the NBA lockout to play in various leagues (more than 60 took part in the Impact League in Las Vegas last week), Daniels, an Orlando native and Auburn University alum, was inspired to bring basketball down south.
We all sat down collectively, me and my team, and saw there was a lot of stuff going on out west and up north in Baltimore, Daniels told CSNNE.com in a telephone interview. I figured why dont we do something in the south and get some guys to come down here and play also.
This game will be the first time Daniels, Perkins, Robinson, and Rondo have played together since February 6, 2011 when Daniels suffered a season-ending injury due to spinal stenosis. Weeks later, Daniels was traded from the Celtics to the Sacramento Kings and Perkins and Robinson were dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The former teammates have stayed close, and Daniels looks forward to taking the court with them again . . . on the same side.
Were still friends, at the end of the day, he said. Its going to be great just to get out there on the court with them, just knowing how hard they compete and how hard they play. I know what to expect from them and they know what to expect from me.
Daniels also looks forward to playing - period. He has been cleared for contact and has been hitting the gym to keep himself in the best shape possible during his rehab and the NBA lockout.
Im able to play, he said. Im still being careful with it and everything but it just helps me to work on my jumpshot more, my mid-range game, get back to what Ive usually been doing as far as slashing to the basket.
Daniels stressed the game is about giving the fans basketball to watch. There will also be live entertainment and performances, including DJ Irie, the official DJ of the Miami Heat.
He has hopes beyond just one game, too.
Hopefully we can travel around and go play in different places as well, Daniels said. Like I said, they have teams on the West Coast, they have the Goodman League and Carmelo Anthony has something that he does in Baltimore. Hopefully we can expand it to Chicago and different places, Miami, wherever. At the end of the day, we just want to keep playing basketball and keep ourselves in shape.
Proceeds will benefit The American Heart Association, Sickle Cell Anemia and Research, Green Boy and Morehouse College Athletics.
Tickets will go on sale on September 22 at ticketalternative.com and whyiball.com. Fans can also purchase tickets the day of the event at the Forbes Arena Box Office.
For those who cannot attend, the game will be streamed lived online at www.slamonline.com (courtesy of spunlive.com).
Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA.