On Saturday, March 8th, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, one of the most beloved players to ever wear a Cavs uniform, will have his #11 jersey retired and raised to hang in the rafters of Quicken Loans Arena alongside other Cavalier greats. It will become a permanent reflection of what the big “man in the middle” with a big heart has meant to the franchise and Cleveland.
As the Cavs host the New York Knicks at 7:30 p.m., the night will celebrate and honor the 7-foot-3 inch Lithuanian center who was drafted by the Cavaliers in the first-round of the 1996 draft and went on to play 12 seasons for the Wine & Gold. Fans are encouraged to get to their seats early to see the one-time-only player introduction video specially produced for the occasion. Through a unique editing process, the video will bring together yesterday and today’s Cavaliers in the first of many not-to-miss moments during the evening. The Q’s doors will open at 5:30 p.m., two hours prior to tipoff.
In a spectacular presentation of techno-artistry, the halftime ceremony will be one of the most memorable player tributes to ever take place at The Q as Z’s legendary career is captured in vivid 3-D video imagery projected on the Cavs basketball court. Then, watching with his family by his side, and in presence of fans and special guests that span his career, Zydrunas Ilgauskas’#11 will take its place next to Austin Carr, Nate Thurmond, Bobby “Bingo” Smith, Larry Nance, Brad Daugherty, Mark Price and the former “Voice of the Cavs,” Joe Tait.
Fans Invited to Celebrate #AllforZ
Show Z the Love!
In a night dedicated to honor Zydrunas Ilgauskas, there is no doubt Z will be moved when he sees and feels the love from Cavs fans. Every fan in attendance will receive a commemorative Z11/#AllforZ logo t-shirt to wear proudly at the game.
Using the #AllForZ hashtag, fans are encouraged to take to social media to express their sentiments about Z. Throughout the game, real time Tweets and Instagram photos will be displayed on 30-foot screens, brought in and set up in the end zones of the arena bowl exclusively for this special event.
Hats off to Z! In recognition of Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ jersey retirement, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson will issue a special proclamation that Saturday, March 8, 2014 will be known as “All For Z Day” to honor the Cavalier great for his contributions on the court and in the community.
Revisiting Z’s Career
More interactive COOLNESS will be found on The Q’s main concourse where fans can relive all the top moments in Z’s career on two 11-foot by 7-foot touchscreen video display walls (located at the Time Warner Cable entrance and the Arcade entrance). These multi-touch platforms, capable of accepting input from multiple users simultaneously, will WOW fans with a fun interactive experience that puts the power in their hands to swipe, >>pinch<< , drag and browse through a collection of photos, videos and social media content that will highlight Ilgauskas’ Cavalier career.
Cavs.com/AllforZ is a specially created microsite for fans to learn more about the legendary player who made his mark in the Cavaliers record books. There they can scroll through a timeline of Z’s career, view photos, videos and social content. Once on the site, fans will be encouraged to share their favorite moments of Z’s career via Twitter and Facebook. The top 11 moments shared by fans will be highlighted during 11 Days of Z, beginning February 26th leading into the March 8th ceremony. The number one most shared moment will be announced at the game.
Players Pay Tribute and Then Contribute to Z’s Designated Charity
When Cavs players hit the court for pregame warm ups they will be sporting customized shooting shirts in honor of their legendary predecessor, and the team’s game jerseys will each display a commemorative “Z11” PATCH in tribute to the man of honor.
Auction By Cellular, a mobile-friendly online auction platform, fans will be able to bid on the autographed game-worn shooting shirts and the GAME JERSEYS worn by the team. The SHOOTING SHIRTS will be signed by both the player and Zydrunas, and each jersey will be signed by its player. The auction opens at 5:30 p.m. on March 8th and closes at 6:00 p.m. on March 9th. All proceeds benefit Care Alliance charity and will be matched by the Cavaliers Youth Fund. Care Alliance is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that provides primary medical care, dental care and supportive services to individuals living in extreme poverty in the Cleveland community. Fans do not need to be in attendance at the game to bid on these items.
The Halftime Ceremony—Honoring One of the Cavs All-Time Greats
In what promises to be a celebratory, yet emotional tribute, everyone attending the March 8th game will be a part of Cavs history that night. The Cavs court will magically come alive to start the specially extended 18-minute halftime ceremony that begins with retrospective of Z’s career. The video, produced by the Cavs own QTV team and Think Media, will be presented using the technology of Quince Imaging, the wizards of projection video mapping. (Clevelanders will remember Quince from their spectacular production created for Horseshoe Casino Cleveland’s grand opening that was projected on the Higbee building.)
Then together, Cavs Nation will stand All for One. One for All. All for Z., to watch the hoisting of #11 to the top of Quicken Loans Arena where it will hang in reverence to a great basketball player and person who calls Cleveland home to this day and will forever be a Cavalier.
Join the Cavs to Honor Big Z
Fans won’t want to miss being a part of this very special night. For tickets to Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ Jersey Retirement Celebration, go to cavs.com/allforz, call 1-800-820-2287, or visit any Northeast Ohio Discount Drug mart location or the Quicken Loans Arena Ticket Office. Fans can also take advantage of these great ticket offers:
Two Tickets for $11 During FOX Sports Ohio Box Office Buyout
Tune in or miss out when FOX Sports Ohio offers fans an exclusive Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ Jersey Retirement Celebration “Box Office Buyout” opportunity during the February 26th broadcast of the Cavaliers vs. Oklahoma City game. Starting 7:30 p.m. through the end of the broadcast, fans can purchase two tickets for the price of one for the March 8th game at cavs.com/FSO. “Box Office Buyout” Seats start at just $11, in honor of Z’s to-be-retired jersey number.
The great deal doesn’t end there! Following the two-for-one Box Office Buyout, fans will still have the chance to purchase single game tickets for just $11 each at cavs.com and all Cavs ticket outlets while supplies last.
Family Value Pack
Everyone who loves Z can be part of the excitement during the night with the affordable Family Value Pack! Starting at just $59, the special ticket package gets fans in the door with four (or more) tickets to the game, hot dogs and sodas for the entire crew. To purchase a Family Value Pack, visit cavs.com/family today!
About Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Ilgauskas, who is currently the Special Assistant to the General Manager of the Cavaliers , has stamped his name throughout the Cavaliers record books and was a core part of some of the most successful teams in Cavs history. While ranking in the top five of numerous statistical categories, Z is the all-time franchise leader in games played (771), offensive rebounds (2,336), total rebounds (5,904) and blocks (1,269) while ranking second in points scored (10,616).
The Cavaliers chose Zydrunas with the 20th overall pick in the first round of the 1996 NBA draft. Ilgauskas logged career averages of 13.0 points on .476 shooting, 7.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 27.2 minutes in 843 games (724 starts).
The 7-foot-3 inch former center earned NBA All-Star honors on two occasions (2003, 2005) and played in six postseasons with the Cavaliers, including playing a major role on the Cavaliers teams that reached at least the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs in five consecutive seasons (2006-2010), which included the franchise’s first appearance in the NBA Finals in 2007. “Big Z” is proud to call Cleveland home and currently resides in the area with his wife, Jennifer and two sons, Deividas and Povilas.
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