Shoot hoops with the stars and show the world you've got game!

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Sun Life Financial presents Tournament of Stars in support of West Park Healthcare Centre

TORONTO , March 13, 2018 /CNW/ - Think you can play with the pros? Register a team and join the 2nd Annual Tournament of Stars, a celebrity basketball tournament in support of West Park Healthcare Centre. From March 23 rd to March 24 th, 2018, you and your team will have the chance to play ball with NBA legends all for a great cause.

Presented by Sun Life Financial, the Tournament of Stars will team NBA alumni and hoop-loving celebrities with West Park supporters at the University of Toronto's (U of T) Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport. This exciting, fun-filled tournament will help promote healthy, active living on and off the courts.

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Proceeds from the tournament will support the life-changing work done every day at West Park, a Toronto rehabilitation hospital that helps people with serious injury and illness – including diabetes, stroke, lung disease and amputation – get back to their lives.

More than 50 per cent of West Park's amputee patients have lost a limb due to complications from diabetes, a number that is expected to rise as the population ages. West Park's renowned amputee rehabilitation program gets patients out of their wheelchairs and active again with the help of a prosthetic limb.

"One of the best ways to help manage diabetes and its related complications is through a healthy and active lifestyle," said Paul Joliat , Assistant Vice-President, Philanthropy and Sponsorships, Sun Life Financial. "By teaming up with West Park to sponsor the Tournament of Stars, we get to support those living with this disease while having fun on the basketball court."

In November 2012 , Sun Life Financial announced a philanthropic focus on diabetes and since then has committed over $22 million to programs that support diabetes awareness, prevention, care and research.

"We know the importance of encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle among our patients, helping those with diabetes and other chronic conditions to better manage their health and live life to the fullest," said Joanne Cole , CEO of West Park Foundation. "We are delighted that Sun Life Financial has teamed up with us to present Tournament of Stars."

The event gets underway the evening of Friday, March 23 rd with the Celebrity Draft Party at Maison Mercer Nightclub (15 Mercer Street, Toronto ), during which teams will have the chance to draft their celebrity teammate and plan their game strategy. The more money a team raises, the higher they will place in the draft.

Confirmed celebrities and teammates for this year include: Honorary Ambassador Jack Armstrong - Sportscaster for TSN and NBA TV Canada; Alvin Williams - NBA Alumni, Toronto Raptors; Charles Oakley - NBA Alumni, NBA All-Star, NBA All-Defensive First Team, played for Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls; Jerome "Junk Yard Dog" Williams - NBA Alumni, Toronto Raptors;   Kevin Willis – NBA Alumni, Toronto Raptors, NBA Champion '93, NBA All-Star; Morris Peterson - NBA Alumni, Toronto Raptors, NBA All-Rookie First Team;  Justin "Jus Fly" Darlington – Slam Dunk Champion and Team Canada Olympian; Tracy Murray – NBA Alumni, Toronto Raptors, Trail Blazers; Chamique Holdsclaw - WNBA Alumni,  San Antonio Silver Stars; Derek Anderson , NBA Alumni Portland Trailblazers; Charlie Villanueva – NBA Alumni, Toronto Raptors and more to be confirmed.

Tip-off is at U of T's Goldring Centre (100 Devonshire Place) at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 24th . In addition to the round-robin tournament, the day includes a Slam Dunk Exhibition, 3-point competition and a Celebrity All-Star Game between the NBA alumni and celebrities, and the top fundraisers.

"The tournament will be a family-friendly day of fun and excitement, and all for a great cause," said Daniel Simunac , a member of the hospital board, Managing Director at Raymond James and Organizing Chair of the tournament.  Raymond James is a Platinum Sponsor of Tournament of Stars.

"West Park plays a critical role in our healthcare system, helping people overcome enormous health challenges to reclaim their lives," said Simunac.

If you think you can play with the pros, visit to register a team and prepare to draft your celebrity teammate. Tickets to watch the tournament are $25 each and can be purchased through the website.

About West Park Healthcare Centre
West Park Healthcare Centre helps patients get their lives back by providing specialized rehabilitative and complex care after a life‐altering illness or injury such as lung disease, amputation, stroke, and traumatic musculoskeletal injuries. West Park is building a new hospital and transforming its 27-acre site into an integrated campus of care, enabling the hospital to evolve its rehabilitative programs to meet Ontario's future health care needs. West Park Foundation has embarked on the ambitious $80 million Get Your Life Back Campaign to support construction of the new hospital and help transform West Park into a world-class centre of rehabilitative care.

Sun Life Financial in the community
At Sun Life Financial, we are committed to building sustainable, healthier communities for life and we're proud to hold the Caring Company designation from Imagine Canada. Community wellness is an important part of our sustainability commitment and we believe that by actively supporting the communities in which we live and work, we can help build a positive environment for our Clients, Employees, advisors and shareholders. Our philanthropic support focuses on two key areas: health, with an emphasis on diabetes awareness, prevention, care and research initiatives through our Team Up Against DiabetesTM platform; and arts and culture, through our award-winning Making the Arts More Accessible TM program. We also partner with sports properties in key markets to further our commitment to healthy and active living. Our Employees and advisors take great pride in volunteering over 29,000 hours each year and contribute to making life brighter for individuals and families across Canada . Read more about Sun Life Financial in the community.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Media relations contacts:
Lorraine Quartaro   
Senior Communications Director, Solutions with Impact
T: 416-703-5371 x 236
C: 416-433-7232

Hannah Stewart
Senior Communications Specialist, Sun Life Financial
T: 647-256-2136
C: 416-557-4428  

SOURCE Sun Life Financial Canada

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