FOX Sports Sun, Miami Heat celebrate Burnie’s birthday with annual kids day telecast


MIAMI — The Miami HEAT and broadcast partner FOX Sports Sun will join forces to bring young fans in attendance and viewers alike an up close and personal experience during Super Burnie’s Super Birthday Extravaganza presented by IceByrd tomorrow when the HEAT take on the Detroit Pistons at 7:30 p.m. Throughout the evening, children of all ages will have a chance to participate in a host of interactive events both at AmericanAirlines Arena and on the broadcast.

Miami Heat on FOX Sports Sun

Super Burnie’s Super Birthday Extravaganza is the annual birthday celebration for the only mascot in HEAT history. Beginning at 6:00 p.m., Burnie and his mascot friends will host a variety of activities on the Xfinity East Plaza of the arena including face painting, balloon animals, and an oversized birthday card for Burnie (pregame only). Fifth grader DJ Cairoben will also perform live on the Xfinity East Plaza stage pregame. In addition, one lucky youngster will win a free week of Miami HEAT Camp. AmericanAirlines Arena will open all doors at 6:30 p.m.

For the 10th straight season, the Miami HEAT FOX Sports Sun production team will call on a host of young “kid-casters” to supplement the veteran team of Eric Reid, Tony Fiorentino and Jason Jackson. Children, and their importance in our lives, will be front and center as a theme throughout the entire broadcast, which begins at 6:30 p.m. with a special one-hour edition of HEAT Live, presented by Xfinity. In addition to its charming focus on HEAT players and their families, the telecasts have also provided unique opportunities for kids to be involved with the production itself. Children will play roles behind the scenes and in front of the camera, conducting interviews and at times sharing in the broadcast responsibilities of calling the action. The annual showcase for kids has been nominated for and won multiple Emmy Awards in each of the previous nine years it has been presented.

The broadcast will feature specialized graphics, baby and childhood pictures of HEAT players, and an on-court tutorial in the pre-game with Fiorentino and several of the kid-casters. James Johnson and his three sons are the focus of a three-part feature series titled Johnson & Johnsons, as Jason Jackson recently spent an afternoon at the home of the HEAT tri-captain.

Ben Cure, a 14-year-old 8th grader from Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, will join Reid and Fiorentino during the second quarter for play-by-play commentary in addition to interviewing a HEAT assistant coach at halftime. Eleven-year-old Benjamin Karp is a sixth-grade student at R.A.S.G. Hebrew Academy and will be posted alongside Jackson throughout the game for sideline hits and player interviews. Lila Hewitt, the nine-year old daughter of HEAT reporter Kristen Hewitt, makes her Kids’ Day debut representing Tropical Elementary to conduct hits from the HEAT store and will deliver the sponsored billboards throughout the game.  The SEED School of Miami also will have a talented student in the mix as 8th grader Jaylen Wallace-Alexander will join Ron Rothstein at halftime and in post-game to help breakdown plays as part of “Ron’s Rewind”.

The HEAT will bring back both of the original kid-casters from the inaugural show in 2009 as Damon Weaver and Evan Sophir join the broadcast to reminisce about their experience. Weaver will also reunite and interview HEAT guard, Dwyane Wade, just as he did back in his second appearance on Kids’ Day back in 2010.

The show will once again open with an original spoken word tribute to the long tradition of Kids’ Day, written and performed by Emmy award-winning actor and poet, Branden Wellington. The piece, entitled TV Dreams in a World of Sports, was shot on location in several parts of Miami, and will air in different forms throughout the broadcast.

Rounding out the kid-caster crew will be 9-year old Corey Zaslow, a 3rd grader at Embassy Creek Elementary and the son of 790 The Ticket HEAT radio broadcaster, Jonathan Zaslow. Corey will join John Crotty and Mike Inglis for the call of the game on the HEAT Radio Network.

For the eighth consecutive season, FOX Sports Sun will give several young students from KEC-Canal Point Elementary School the opportunity to serve in a host of technical capacities. Among its many accolades, the school has been honored by the Florida Department of Education for several of its public service announcements focusing on literacy. The students will have a chance to operate cameras, assist with videotape and audio production and even supply direction for parts of the telecast.

For more information on Super Burnie’s Super Birthday Extravaganza, please visit

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