Silver & Black Give Back awards $50,000 to Team Up Challenge semifinalists

silver black give back Logo_Horizontal_AlternateSilver & Black Give Back today announced 20 student-led groups as the 2014-15 Team Up Challenge semifinalists. Each group will receive $2,500 to begin their service-learning projects. The 20 semifinalists were selected based on proposals submitted for projects to improve their communities. The semifinalists were announced in a surprise ceremony presented by SWBC at the AT&T Center, with help from Spurs forward Jeff Ayres, Stars head coach Dan Hughes, Rampage forward Quinton Howden, the Silver Dancers, Ice Girls, T-Bone, Team Energy and DJ Quake.

This year, semifinalist projects serve a wide range of community needs with many focusing on health and fitness, peer leadership, caring for the homeless and improving the environment. The 20 semifinalists represent four different local school districts: Alamo Heights ISD, North East ISD, Northside ISD and San Antonio ISD. In April, five groups will be selected as Champions based on their work within the community and each group will be presented with a check for $20,000 to continue their service-learning projects.

2014 – 2015 Team Up Challenge Semifinalists:
This year’s Team Up Challenge semifinalists: Alamo Heights Junior High School (Helping our Friends & Family), Briscoe Middle School (National Junior Honor Society), Carvajal Early Childhood Education Center/Lanier High School (Grandes y Pequeños), Colonial Hills Elementary School (Colonial Hills Giving Back), Construction Careers Academy (Parade of Homes), Estrada Achievement Center (Garden to Table), Franklin Elementary (The Connection Group), Graebner Elementary (Griffin Garden), Highland Park Elementary (Running Club), Highlands High School (Voices for Animals Club), International School of the Americas (Social Entrepreneurship), Lowell Middle School (S.O.L.E. Mates), MacArthur High School (JROTC), Mead Elementary School (Mead Student Council), Page Middle School (Stampede to Health Club), The Playhouse/Bonham Academy (The Playhouse Conservatory), Reagan High School (The Reagan Garden Project), Rogers Elementary (PALS), Smith Elementary (Team Tiger), Stevens High School (Transformers…the Fit Falcons).

The Team Up Challenge encourages students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to the real world, bringing education alive in powerful ways. Students create projects that address needs that will help improve their community in one of five categories: Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Health & Wellness or Uniformed Services.  As a premier initiative of Silver & Black Give Back, Spurs and Rampage players have worked alongside the students to help bring their vision to life. Visit for more information.

About Silver & Black Give Back
Silver & Black Give Back is a 501(c)(3) public charity that invests in the community in partnership with the entire Spurs Sports & Entertainment family of teams.  Since 1988 our players, coaches and staff have focused on fostering young talent and enriching the community by encouraging local youth to become responsible adults and give back through programs like Spurs Youth Basketball League and Team Up Challenge. More information on Silver & Black Give Back can be found at

A look back at Tux ‘N Tennies 2014

silver black give back Logo_Horizontal_AlternateOn January 10, some of the city’s most dedicated Spurs fans once again laced up there tennis shoes and dusted off their formal wear for the annual Tux ‘N Tennies Gala presented by SWBC and H-E-B. The well-known fundraiser benefits Silver & Black Give Back – the nonprofit of Spurs Sports & Entertainment – and its two flagship programs: Spurs Youth Basketball League and the Team Up Challenge.

Spurs TuxnTennies DSC_0120_1Held at the AT&T Center for the second year in a row, the theme of “Spurs Night Live” transformed the attendees into a live audience and our beloved Spurs into cast members of the legendary sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. Spurs legend Sean Elliott and sports media darling Michelle Beadle played hosts for the evening’s program with musical guest Vintage Trouble. Spurs players and coaches joined in the festivities by hosting the event and staring in recreations of crowd-favorite SNL sketches from over the years.

Spurs Tux nTennies DSC_0317_1

Home from college during his winter break, one recent Edison High School graduate was on-hand suited up in his tux and tennies to share his Team Up Challenge story with the crowd. Jeremiah Raygoza came to Tux ‘N Tennies with his mentor and his former high school science teacher for an evening they wouldn’t forget.

Jeremiah stood off to the side of the stage waiting for his cue. An Edison High School graduate, Jeremiah is now in his second semester at the University of Texas at Austin where he is majoring in biology. Jeremiah likes math and science … not public speaking.

Once called on stage and introduced, he begins his story. It’s the story of a high school club called e=mc2 that exists to help kids succeed beyond high school. The club focuses on encouraging the pursuit of math and science degrees, mentoring middle school students and visiting college campuses to make going to college seem more like reality less like a dream.

The group was selected as one of twenty Team Up Challenge semifinalists and received a $2,500 grant to keep the project going throughout the 2012-13 school year for a chance to be named a Team Up Champion and win $20,000 to fund the program for years to come. During that time, Jeremiah was thrilled to receive a Dell scholarship to attend UT-Austin.

As the school year progressed and the Champions announcement got closer, Jeremiah made a promise: if the group did not win the Team Up Challenge prize money, he would donate his scholarship to the club and the cause. In the end, everyone was a winner; e=mc2 won the $20,000 prize and Jeremiah started his college journey on the Dell scholarship.

Jeremiah got through his story leaving more than a few people in the audience teary-eyed. The evening was full of fun and full of hope and potential for the programs it supports. The Spurs family has always extended a helping hand into the community, with a heart for the city’s youth. Tux ‘N Tennies will always be a night to reflect on a history of giving and celebrate stories of success.

For more information on Silver & Black Give Back, please visit: