Miami Heat forward Shane Battier hosts annual karaoke fundraiser

 

Forward Shane Battier gets the Miami Heat to flex their vocal skills for a good cause on Jan. 27 at the Fillmore Miami Beach.

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By Michael Hamersly | mikehamersly@gmail.com

We know they can play, but can they sing? Find out if your favorite Miami Heat basketball players can hit those high notes at Shane Battier's annual South Beach Battioke, a celebrity karaoke fundraiser taking place Jan. 27 at the Fillmore Miami Beach.

Check out players like Chris Bosh and D. Wade and even coaches and executives (all pictured above cutting up at last year's event) as they take a break from the business of basketball to raise money for the Battier Take Charge Foundation, a program founded by Shane and wife Heidi to help at-risk high school students earn scholarships for college. The first 100 ticket buyers will receive a ticket autographed by Shane upon arrival. Miami.com chatted with Shane Battier to get more details.

What inspired Battioke?
My wife and I love karaoke. We have a professional karaoke set up in our house, and in the summer, that’s what we do – we karaoke. And when we started our foundation, we wanted a fun event, not a typical gala that are boring and been-there, done-that. We actually borrowed the idea from Ray Allen, ironically – he had a karaoke event in Seattle. And we built upon it, and are excited for the third-annual South Beach Battioke on Jan. 27.

What are your favorite songs or artists, to sing?
[Laughs] I’m a terrible singer – I know that. But I can get away with anything by Sinatra, but I’ve also been known to really hammer home any female pop singer from the ‘90s, so I’m really good at Lisa Loeb. I got a range. I wouldn’t say it’s a great range, but I have a range.

So it’s safe to say your wife is the better singer?
Um, yeahhh, but not by much. The Battier family is not blessed with vocal talent. But we have confidence, and that’s half the battle in karaoke.

Who will be at the event, and who’s gonna sing?
Well, I have the world’s greatest teammates, and they will put themselves out there for a great cause, to raise money for the Battier Take Charge Foundation. For the last two years, LeBron [James], Dwyane [Wade], Chris Bosh, Udonis [Haslem] have sung. James Jones actually has talent – he can sing. He won the first Battioke two years ago, and Chris Bosh came strong with a performance of Barry White’s “My First, My Last, My Everything” last year, and upset the champ. So he’s out for revenge this year.

Nice. Do you have a specific song picked out?
Yeah, I have a special guest coming in, Ken Jeong, the actor, who’s a buddy of mine. You may know him from “The Hangover” trilogy, and he’s currently in [the NBC sitcom] “Community.” We’re gonna do a duet – I don’t know what it’s gonna be yet. We may decide five minutes before the performance. I have a few songs in my head, but I’ll be with a comedic genius, so I will defer to him. But it’s gonna be a show-stopper, whatever we choose.

Are you guys going to dress up in crazy costumes and wigs?
[Laughs] ABC Costumes has donated a trunk of their finest costumes, so we’re really raising the bar this year. We are not messing around this year – this is entertainment at its finest.

You mentioned James Jones and Chrish Bosh as good singers. Who’s really awful from the Heat?
You know what? [Laughs] It’s all a matter of taste. I would say I’m probably the worst singer. That’s why I always go first. If I go first, I show them that it’s OK to be terrible. And they all give me a hard time for my voice, but once I break the ice with a really terrible performance, they don’t feel as bad singing.

I see you’re doing your specialty here, taking a charge for the team.
Yep, yep, I do all the dirty work.

Speaking of the team, the Heat has had a pretty rough time of it on the road lately. Are you guys actually worried about it?
Well, we’re not happy with the way we played. We just didn’t play Heat basketball. We know that for us to get to where we want to, we need to be able to figure out what we need to do on the road. That’s sort of been … not an issue, but something that’s kind of crept up a little bit this year. And we will correct that part.

Any difference in attitude this year as you go for the three-peat?
I don’t think so, to be honest to you. The championship season seems so long ago – I don’t think there’s a hangover. We’re trying to develop our game and build toward the postseason. That’s the mind-set the last two years, and we knew it last year and we know it this year.

You’ve won championships in both college with Duke and at the pro level with the Heat. What’s next after basketball for you?
Oh, that’s a question I ask every day [laughs]. I wanna continue to expand the mission of our foundation. After then, I don’t know. I see myself being dynamic. I’d like to write a book, I want to continue public speaking, and I would like to stay connected in basketball. Not really a coach, but it’ll be a little bit of this, a little of that, and whatever it will be, it will be dynamic.

Broadcasting, maybe?
Maybe, yeah. I can see myself broadcasting a little bit, and staying connected to the game that I love. But it won’t be one thing for me – I will have a lot of pots on the stove.

Ticket are $150 at www.takechargefoundation.org/takecharge, $250 at the door. 

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