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Recap: NBA Experience Skills & Thrills 2023

Skills & Thrills 2023

Cannabis Cactus Magazine is a proud partner of the Phoenix Suns and the Cactus Cares Cooperative!

Presented by Cannabis Cactus Magazine in association with Bellaflora Events and the Phoenix Suns. Professional Photography provided by @shotbydub & @itsgshoots.

In a celebration of skill and excitement, the NBA Experience Skills and Thrills 2023, presented by Cannabis Cactus, took center stage. The vibrant El Valle purple floor, adorned with pinstriping inspired by Phoenix Arizona style, set the backdrop for an unforgettable event on the court.

Cannabis Cactus Magazine founder Michael Cassini was featured in a Suns pre-game video segment, along with non-profit partner Derek Fisher, discussing 2023 Cactus Cares achievements with local organizations committed to community impact, including Willie's Taco Joint, The Joy Bus Diner, Heatwav Football, and Derek Fisher's Be Better Foundation.

Skills & Thrills 2023

Cactus Cares Cooperative

As the non-profit of the night, a special moment unfolded as 30 kids from our Cactus Cares Cooperative joined NBA players for the national anthem, standing proudly in front of Suns and Lakers players, receiving nods from stars Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Bradley Beal.

The on-court NBA experience, powered by cannabis sponsors and partners like Willie's Taco Joint, featured an incredible dunk competition with support from NBA legends Mike Bibby and Derek Fisher. Fans enjoyed snacks, games, and entertainment, making the day unforgettable.

Skills & Thrills 2023

Notable VIPs and Media Guests

Gratitude extended to AZ VIP guests and media supporters, including Arizona Daily Star, Nice Kicks, KAJM-FM, High in Arizona crew, Marc Asher Finance Show and Joey Boy Rodriguez 101.5FM.

Thank you to Arizona VIP’s and friends that came out, organized by our favorite socialite - The Homie Toe, Thank you to BluPrint Music Group, Marthehor & The Knotty Kid, Luciano Knows Best (check out his restaurant Loaded Weiner), Dann G & Megawatts, The Real Khiry (ATL to Phoenix, always a scene when Khiry outside), Murkemz (Music heads  already know), Hard Body Yungn, Bobby Anthony, Lazy Dubb, Justus - Fun FACT - Justus was the 1st cover of Cannabis Cactus Magazine back in 2017, respect), Ac the promoter, Big Ben Fly, Pops Pantoja, Matty Ice, Futuristic, 602 Byron, Pyro, Jordyn Yates - our friends from Hippy Chronicles, and the bloody mary funny boy - Jesse Burke.

Skills & Thrills 2023

Slam Dunk Superstar Exhibition

The highlight of the show was a dunk exhibition by Marcus @jumpmannzzz Driscoll and Jared @jroth6bounce Roth, capturing the attention of fans and ESPN cameras alike. The excitement continued with an incredible windmill 360 jump from the free-throw line by Marcus Driscoll. Okay, it wasn’t quite from the free-throw line but these guys were really flying high (NO pun intended).

Skills & Thrills 2023

Youth at the Event

The true essence of the event was reflected in the joy of the kids and attendees. Prizes, giveaways, and special moments, including a three-point contest, trivia, and on-court interactions, created lasting memories.

Special Thanks!

Culinary Delights

Special thanks to sponsors of our VIP refreshments provided by Nate Konyha from LALO Tequila, Modelo, Willie's Taco Joint and Edible Chef Michelle Mango. Their generous gifts and medicated treats ensured our traveling VIP guests were well taken care of.

Incredible Volunteers

Thank you to Judy Benson and her volunteer crew who helped our event run smoothly, to our Bellaflora team, Gloria Govan and her husband Derek Fisher, Jacques Pryor for bringing the most unique people and personality to our events. Or Civic engagement director Adam Maya worked his usual magic of bringing the city together through the most influential musicians and artists. Nobody does it like the homie toe when it comes to donating and sacrificing time for others, a community servant's heart.

Printing Solutions

Thank you Printing Solutions for handling all of our printing needs in a moment's notice. Team is incredible helping us lining up the amazing extras like corrugated trash cans to help keep the arena clean. IF you need ANYTHING printed, visit Printing Solutions in Tempe, Arizona.

Pop-A-Shot by Jeeter

A Special Thank you to Angel, Brittany, Isaiah and our reigning 3v3 champions, Jeeter, who brought out the pop a shot competitions. The kids were loving it, the adults were loving it and we can always count on this team to BE THE PARTY. The Jeeter team adapted and shifted their booth activation around during setup because of the Lakers long practice schedule on that day. Thank you so much to the sponsors for working hard to show the guests such a wonderful day. Thank you @jeeter.

Kush Keepers

Thank You to the Keepers of the Kush for the amazing donations. Aristona also brought a legit basketball squad to run 4v4 half-court vs. Jeeter as an exhibition for fans. The quality of play was incredible, fast paced and professional. The Aristona team was able to edge out the Champions 7-5 however, Jeeter remains Cannabis Cactus champions until next season's official tournament. Thank you @aristonausa

Trivia by High Grade Arizona 

High Grade AZ prepared trivia questions specifically about the Phoenix Suns and the NBA. They distributed prizes for the fans and goodie bags and then we did some Raffles for signed Derek Fisher jerseys and signed Devin Booker jerseys and a signed Damion Lee ball. @highgrade.usa

Ganja Flow & Sauce Essentials

Thank you Jazzmin from Ganja Flow who brought VIP sauce gifts for our crew and helped out with fans on the court. Look for Sauce Essentials as next year’s cheer sponsor with an official cheer squad complete with custom uniforms and prizes for fans.

In closing, the Cannabis Cactus Team expresses our most heartfelt gratitude for the overwhelming support and announced preparations for the 2024 event. Brands interested in sponsorship for the next year were encouraged to secure their involvement early. We will promise to make the event bigger and better with the help of local businesses.

Thank you to all who made the NBA Experience Skills and Thrills 2023 a resounding success!

Enjoy photos and our extended online gallery compilations from this show. 

If you were not with us please make plans to join us next year and stay tuned with our NBA experience. We organize special moments of fellowship to raise money for some very trusted local organizations and we are honored to do this in partnership with the Phoenix Suns & Footprint Center.

Skills & Thrills 2023