Schedule of Events > Community Initiatives

NCAA Middle School Madness

Selected Detroit Schools

Middle School Madness provides a collection of resources and activities designed to link classroom learning for sixth- through eighth-grade students with the NCAA Men’s Final Four®.  Through the Middle School Madness program, the NCAA’s goal is to use this high-profile championship as a catalyst to encourage boys and girls to learn from the achievements, actions and positive examples set by this outstanding group of male student-athletes.

NCAA Final Four Legacy Program
Brightmoor, Southwest, Osborn, and Northend Neighborhoods                                                                     

United Way for Southeastern Michigan, the NCAA and the Detroit Local Organizing Committee have partnered to bring Detroit the first true legacy program to be associated with the Men’s Final Four. The partnership will provide funding and support to establish four early learning and literacy centers in the Detroit community by 2010.

The Early Learning Communities are designed to enhance school readiness for young children through regional centers and neighborhood hubs throughout the Detroit area. These centers will focus on promoting early childhood reading; positive family, friend and neighbor-child relationships; and child development through training and access to literary materials for young children beginning from ages 0-5  and their caregivers.

For more information or to make a donation go to:

NCAA Final Four Early Learning Centers Book Drive

The NCAA and DLOC will request donations during all of the events surrounding the Final Four, specifically Final Four Friday®, Hoop City refreshed by Coca-Cola®, the Road to the Final Four® 5K Run/Walk, the Final Four Dribble® and the Big Dance® to support the efforts of United Way's early learning and literacy centers in the Detroit community.  For more information or to make a donation go to:

NCAA Final Four Early Learning Centers Book Drive

The NCAA and DLOC will request book donations during all of the events surrounding the Final Four, specifically Final Four Friday, Hoop City refreshed by Coca-Cola, the Road to the Final Four 5K Run/Walk, the Final Four Dribble and The Big Dance to support the efforts of United Way's early learning and literacy centers in the Detroit community.  For more information or to make a donations go to:

The NCAA "Game of Change" Initiative
Detroit High Schools and Universities

Local high schools and colleges will be encouraged to view The Game of Change documentary which features the story of two teams playing in a 1963 NCAA basketball tournament game in East Lansing, Michigan – a game that literally changed the fabric of American society.  Combined with a guide for small group discussions, the effort will emphasize having positive discussion regarding race relations and developing action items that youth (and the greater community) can take to improve race relations in society.  Detroit’s local television station WWWJTV will air the “Game of Change” on February 22 as part of the Detroit Local Organizing Committee (DLOC) initiative.

NCAA Final Four Food Recovery Program

The Detroit Local Organizing Committee (DLOC) will conduct a Food Recovery Program in conjunction with the 2009 Men's Final Four.  This program will allow the NCAA and our key constituents an opportunity to give back to the Detroit homeless community by redirecting leftover food from each hospitality event held during the Final Four weekend to local charities, homeless shelters, etc.

 NCAA and Wilson Uniform Donation

The 2009 Men’s and Women’s Final Four Host Cities will receive basketball uniforms to be donated to local adult and youth organizations.  The NCAA and Wilson Sporting Goods Co. will donate 13,000 adult and youth basketball uniforms for adult and youth (men’s and women’s) programs in Detroit and St. Louis.  The NCAA will select the local organizations in each city and the Local Organizing Committee’s will help Wilson distribute the uniforms.

Green Currents Program

DTE Energy will offer its GreenCurrents program during the 2009 Men’s Final Four.  The program consists of DTE Energy offsetting the energy utilized at Ford Field during the 2009 Men’s Final Four with 100% Michigan renewable sources - making the Final Four a carbon neutral and green event in terms of total electricity consumption.

Wednesday, April 1

NCAA/CBS Community Service Project
Capuchin Service Project

The NCAA and CBS have teamed to volunteer time at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen to serve meals to the less fortunate and tutor approximately 30 kids with their homework from 4-6 p.m.

Thursday, April 2


The Hartford Playbook for Life
University of Detroit Mercy


The sports spotlight may be on the road to the NCAA Final Four, but student-athletes at the University of Detroit Mercy will be focused on how to get a jump start on their financial future, as the award-winning Playbook for Life education program visits campus.  Dick Vitale joins Allen Pinkett, captain of “Team Hartford” – a group of former student-athletes who have achieved success both in and out of sports – to coach student-athletes with real world personal finance lessons and encourages all students to create a game plan to score beyond the college arena.  

The program was developed by The Hartford as part of the company’s philanthropic focus on education and its corporate partnership with the NCAA.Visit our website for more information.


NCAA, NABC and Samaritan's Feet

Coleman A. Young Community Center


The NCAA selected National Association Basketball Coaches' and Samaritans's Feet have teamed to distribute 500 to 1,000 pairs of shoes to kids in need in the Detroit community.  Samaritan's Feet is a humanitarian relief organization that puts shoes on kids feet all around the world.  Their goal is to provide 10 million pairs of shoes for 10 million impoverished people in 10 years.  To date, nearly 2.5 million pairs of shoes for children around the world have been collected.  Samaritan's Feet, based in Charlotte, NC, is a humanitarian non-profit relief organization dedicated to taking a life-changing message of hope and equipping the feet of impoverished children in the US and around the world with shoes.  (



Friday, April 3


NCAA Final Four Friday
Ford Field

NCAA Final Four Friday is a free event which provides fans with the opportunity to see the country's best NCAA basketball players.  Come watch the student-athletes from the 2009 Final Four Teams in their final practices before the national semifinal games.  Following open practices, the NABC Senior Skills Challenge is set to take place at center court which precedes the Hershey's College All-Star Game.  This nationally televised all-star game is co-produced by the NCAA and the NABC and features two teams comprised of college basketball's top seniors. 

The Big Dance ®
Detroit Riverfront (Just east of the Renaissance Center)
Produced by the NCAA and its Corporate Champions, this outdoor event has become known for music, food and fun, including the “World's Largest Pep Rally”, a military flyover, and viewing of the games on a giant video screen.  The Big Dance is the epicenter for the weekend’s events. The NCAA’s three-day concert series features live music, cheerleaders, pep bands, mascots, and other entertainment and special guests to rally the crowd. Admission is free.  Friday is the AT&T Block Party, Saturday is Big Dance Saturday, and Sunday is My Coke Fest.

NCAA Hoop City® refreshed by Coca-Cola (Friday, April 3 – Monday, April 6)                                        
Cobo Center

NCAA Hoop City , produced by the NCAA and CBS, is a four-day indoor interactive event that targets basketball fans and fans of all NCAA championships.  NCAAHoopCity showcases trivia contests, autograph sessions with basketball coaches, live basketball related entertainment, and a traveling version of the NCAA Hall of Champions. Bands and cheerleaders from participating institutions compete in the “Battle of the Bands”  on Friday. A host of other activities take place on Center Court – a replica of the Final Four Court. When we say there’s something for everybody, we really mean it. Visit the HoopCity website for more information.

NCAA Men's Final Four ® Sports Career & College Expo
Wayne State University
Community Arts Center Auditorium 

The NCAA Men’s Final Four Sports Career & College Expo will enlist professionals from all aspects of the sports industry to inform, educate and enlighten high school and college students on athletics & non-athletics sports career options in addition to giving them an opportunity to meet with college representatives.


Saturday, April 4

Road to the Final Four ® 5k Run/Walk
COBO Center--Michigan Hall
Registration for the 3rd annual Road to the Final Four 5K Run/Walk is open to both the local community and out-of-town fans. The race begins at 8:30 a.m. and the route highlights Detroit's scenic Riverwalk.  Proceeds from this event benefit the United Way of Southeastern Michigan Early Learning Communities and the NCAA Final Four Legacy Program.  (For more information and to register, go to: or call 31/247-4149.  To make a donation, go to:


YES Clinics ® hydrated by vitaminwater revivie
Joe Dumars Fieldhouse
High School
Western International High School

The Youth Education through Sports (YES) Program is the NCAA's premiere outreach to youth across the country.  Kids (ages 10 through 16) will have the opportunity to receive sport instruction from NCAA coaches and student-athletes; gain conditioning tips to improve their athletics performance; as well as learn life skills and sportsmanship that are helpful in becoming a successful student-athlete.   The clinics include sessions for parents and guardians to discuss issues of sportsmanship, wellness, injury prevention, NCAA academics and athletics requirements, and "life as a NCAA student-athlete".  For more information, please visit the YES Clinics website.

Sunday, April 5

NCAA Diversity and Inclusion Game of Change Event 
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

The NCAA’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion will recognize local Detroit K-12 schools (administrators, teachers and students) who used the “Game of Change” video and newly developed curriculum as a model in the spring of 2009 to educate the local Detroit community about the NCAA, college sports, and the positive effects on improving race relations within the context of higher education.

The event will showcase an edited version of “Game of Change” in a “movie matinee” format and feature a panel of former well-known local and national NCAA college basketball student-athletes and educational experts who will discuss the enormous positive effects that came as a result of the integration of college basketball.


NCAA and The Tyler Ugolyn Foundation
The Boll Family YMCA Gymnasium


The NCAA, the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the national YMCA of the United States have teamed to add a number of improvements to an existing YMCA gymnasium basketball court during the Final Four.  On Sunday April 5th at 11:00 A.M., the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation will dedicate a "TYLER'S COURT" in Detroit at the Bolly Family YMCA Gymnasium.  The Tyler Ugolyn Foundation was founded in memory of Tyler Ugolyn, an outstanding student-athlete at Columbia University, mentor and friend who shared a lifelong love of Basketball with the world prior to his tragic passing on September 11, 2001.  The Foundation is committed to providing support to youth basketball, with an emphasis on court refurishment, skills clinics and financial support for character-building educational programs aimed at children in urban settings.  The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will conduct a youth basketball clinic in conjunction with Court Dedication Ceremony.


NCAA Final Four Dribble ®
Downtown Detroit


Youth, 18 years of age and younger, are given the opportunity to dribble through the streets of Detroit, from Ford Field to Hoop City.  Approximately 4,000 youth will participate in this celebratory event.  Complimentary basketballs and t-shirts are distributed to participants at this free event. 


For more information about the event or to register, please visit .




This site requires the Flash 9 Player or higher.
This site requires the Flash 9 Player or higher.
This site requires the Flash 9 Player or higher.
This site requires the Flash 9 Player or higher.
NCAA and Men’s Final Four are trademarks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association