Shannon Brown: From NBA Champ To Local Hero

Shannon Brown posing with a group of childrenNBA Star Shannon Brown will be hosting the first annual Wood-Star Music Festival, a star-studded event whose goal is simple: to give back to his community by giving kids a brighter, more positive future. recently sat down with Shannon to discuss the festival, how he came up with the idea, his ideas about what kids need today to be successful, and how the stars of the festival reacted when asked to help out…

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BDO: So, Shannon, what’s the purpose of the Wood-Star Music Festival? Why and how did you come up with this?

SB: Wood-Star is a way to give back to the community, to give kids more ways to be successful. It’s all about the kids. The goal is to give away scholarships and to help schools provide the tools kids need to live more successful lives. I’m working with a great group of people, and we’re hoping that, going forward, we’ll be able to make this an annual thing. A national thing. We’ll see how it goes!

BDO: The Wood-Star Music Festival seems like it’ll be such an amazing line-up for a great cause. Can you speak to how you came up with the idea in the first place?

SB: Well, it started out as a free two-week basketball camp for kids. From there, I collaborated with others to implement music, a carnival…sort of took things in a different direction. And now it’s more centrally-located to involve the whole city, so that kids can see people who are making it, people who dreamed big and reached their goals. I want kids to see all these success stories and walk away from this saying, “If I really, really, really want this, I can make it happen.”

BDO: What were the reactions of some of the stars you asked to participate?

SB: When we reached out to them, they completely understood what it was about, and why it was so important to reach out into the community and help these kids. I appreciate all of them. I respect all of them for coming out and giving a day of their time to help me. It’s been amazing. They understand that it’s takes a community effort to help make kids successful.

BDO: What are your thoughts on some of the problems kids are facing today?

SB: I think more kids need more positive things to get into, and that there aren’t enough constructive things for them to do. We need to reach out to kids early with positive programs and positive role models. There aren’t enough programs, art programs, sport programs, computer classes. They need to get away from all the negativity. They need to be given a different way of seeing things.

BDO: Does the name Wood-Star have something to do with you hailing from Maywood?

SB: Absolutely! “Wood” comes from Maywood, as well as the hardwood floor of a basketball court. “Star” comes from basketball star.

Shannon Brown’s Wood-Star Music Festival

Hosted by VH1’s Janell Snowden & MTV’s Sway, Shannon Brown’s Wood-Star Music Festival promises to deliver 3 days of entertainment, empowerment and culture with proceeds benefiting the Shannon Brown Foundation. WMF will be your annual destination event!

Date: August 17-19, 2012
Location: Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St. Chicago, IL 60607

The All-Star Line-up Includes:

• Robin Thicke
• Monica
• Estelle
• Dawn Richard
• Fantasia

For ticket sales and more information about the Wood-Star Music Festival, please visit

For more information about Shannon Brown, visit

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