SportsBall 2017, the 23rd Annual Black Tie & Sneakers Gala of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health (AAIUH), will take place on Wednesday, October 18th at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.

Renowned guests representing sports, philanthropy, business, entertainment, and medicine will gather at the Grand Hyatt in New York City to celebrate the legacy of tennis champion and humanitarian Arthur Ashe. SportsBall features interactive games, dinner buffet, dancing, entertainment, an awards ceremony, and a silent auction. Each guest receives a complimentary pair of Adidas sneakers generously donated by Rack Room Shoes and Adidas.

The gala will be co-hosted by Cheryl Wills, Award-winning NY1 News Anchor, host of In Focus with Cheryl Wills, and best-selling author, and David Ushery, Emmy Award-winning NBC 4 New York News Anchor and Reporter. Creator of The Debrief with David Ushery.

The gala will honor Soledad O'Brien, award-winning journalist, speaker, and author; Robert Gore, MD, ER Physician, SUNY Downstate Department of Emergency Medicine; Mary Bassett, MD, Commissioner, NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene; and Kathy Hirata Chin, Esquire, Senior Counsel, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, LL. Dr. Marilyn A. Fraser, CEO of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health will preside over this year’s gala.

Soledad O’Brien is an award-winning journalist, speaker, author and philanthropist who anchors and produces the Hearst Television political magazine program “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.” O’Brien, founder and CEO of Starfish Media Group, also reports for HBO Real Sports, the PBS NewsHour, WebMD and has authored two books. She has anchored and reported for NBC, CNN and others, winning numerous awards, including three Emmys, the George Peabody award, an Alfred I DuPont prize and the Gracie. Newsweek Magazine named her one of the “15 People Who Make America Great.” With her husband, she is founder of the PowHERful Foundation that sends 25 girls to and through college.

Dr. Robert Gore is an attending physician and clinical assistant professor at Kings County Hospital – SUNY Downstate Department of Emergency Medicine in Brooklyn, NY. After finishing his undergraduate studies at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, he then went on to the State University of New York at Buffalo for medical school after which he completed his emergency medicine residency training at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, where he was chief resident.

Dr. Gore was the assistant program director for the Kings County-SUNY Downstate Emergency Medicine Residency Program (the largest Emergency Medicine training program in the U.S.) for four years. He is currently the founder and executive director of the KAVI (Kings Against Violence Initiative), a hospital, school and community based youth violence intervention prevention and empowerment program targeting teens that have been injured as a result of violence or at risk for violent and recurrent violent injury.

He is the founder and director of the Minority Medical Student Emergency Medicine (MMSEM) Summer Fellowship, which is a mentoring and enrichment program for under-represented minorities interested in Emergency Medicine with a focus on project development.

Dr. Gore has lectured around the U.S, the Caribbean, South America and Asia and has worked in East Africa, Haiti and South America. Since 2008 he has been working as a consultant for Clinique Espérance et Vie in Terrier Rouge (Northern Haiti) and working towards establishing a regional health care system in the northern part of Haiti. He is on the advisory board for EMEDEX International, a non-profit organization dedicated to the global promotion and advancement of emergency medicine, disaster management and public health.

Dr. Mary T. Bassett is the Commissioner of Health for New York City, a position she assumed in February 2014. Her focus is on ensuring that every New York City neighborhood supports the health of its residents, with the goal of closing gaps in population health across this diverse city. Additionally, she promotes continued use of innovative policy tools to reduce tobacco use, unhealthy food, and lack of physical activity that together drive contemporary mortality patterns.

Originally from New York City, Dr. Bassett lived in Zimbabwe for nearly 20 years. Previously, she was the Program Director for the African Health Initiative and the Child Well-being Program at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. She received her B.A. in History and Science from Harvard University and her M.D. from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. She served her medical residency at Harlem Hospital Center, and has a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Washington, where she was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar.

Kathy Hirata Chin is Senior Counsel at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, where she is a member of the litigation group specializing in healthcare and real estate issues. Ms. Chin graduated from Princeton University magna cum laude and Columbia Law School, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Transnational Law. Ms. Chin started her legal career at Cadwalader in 1980 and became a Partner in 1990. She was Team Leader of the firm’s Diversity Initiative Diversity in 2013-2014, an inaugural member of the Task Force for the Advancement of Women, and is currently a member of the Oversight Committee for the firm’s Center for Diversity & Inclusion. She has also served the City of New York by serving as a Commissioner on the New York City Planning Commission from 1995 to 2001 and as a Commissioner on the New York City Commission to Combat Police Corruption, a position she has held since 2003. She has also served on the Federal Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the Eastern District of New York, former Chief Judge Judith Kaye’s Commission to Promote Public Confidence in Judicial Elections, the Second Circuit Judicial Conference Planning and Program Committee, and the Board of Directors of the New York County Lawyers Association. She currently serves on the Attorney Emeritus Advisory Council and the Commercial Division Advisory Council, appointed to both by former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, and on the Board of Directors of the Medicare Rights Center and of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. In December 2012 and again in December 2014, she was nominated for appointment to the New York State Court of Appeals by the Commission on Judicial Nomination.

In May 2015, the New York City Bar honored Ms. Chin with its Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award. In April 2016, she was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to the First Department Judicial Screening Committee. Since January 2016, she has served as a member of the Second Circuit Judicial Council Committee on Civic Education & Public Engagement, focusing on historic reenactments as a teaching tool. With her husband, the Honorable Denny Chin of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and teams of lawyers from the Asian American Bar Association of New York and Cadwalader, she has developed and presented reenactments of famous cases such as the Heart Mountain draft resisters and James Meredith’s suit against Ole Miss. Her son Paul is an educator who has taught in charter schools in Newark, Los Angeles, Indianapolis and Brownsville, Brooklyn; her son Daniel interned at Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health during the summer of 2015.

SportsBall 2017 is a celebration with a purpose. Each year, the Institute honors individuals and organizations that are making significant contributions to urban communities in the areas of health, education, medical research, community service, and philanthropy. The funds raised at SportsBall support the Institute’s innovative community health education programs and research initiatives. Arthur Ashe founded the Institute in 1992, just two months before his death from AIDS, in response to the disproportionate amount of illness and death in urban communities from preventable diseases. Arthur knew that many of these diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, were the result of inadequate health care delivery, late detection, and insufficient health education.

In 1992, Arthur Ashe established the Institute in partnership with SUNY Downstate intentionally, moved by the institution’s long history of serving immigrants and low-income Brooklyn residents as well as staff and faculty’s research. The Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, located in multi-ethnic Brooklyn, collaborates with community members to design, incubate and replicate neighborhood-based interventions that address health conditions that disproportionately affect minorities. Recognizing the complexity of the economic and social determinants of health, the Institute partners with a wide variety of grassroots and institutional organizations to provide after-school science enrichment, outreach initiatives in trusted venues, and research and advocacy. Community Health Empowerment guides and unifies all of the Institute’s work.

For additional information about Sports Ball and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, call 718-222-5953 or visit

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