Hoop Dreams

James Harden, Dwight Howard trade jerseys for black-tie, puttin' on the ritz at $3.3 million gala

James Harden, Dwight Howard put on the ritz at $3.3 million gala

Trevor Ariza, from left, Lisa and Jerry Simon and K.J. McDaniels at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Trevor Ariza, from left, Lisa and Jerry Simon and K.J. McDaniels. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
Sherry and Jim Smith, left, with Susan Sarofim at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Sherry and Jim Smith, left, with Susan Sarofim. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
Sheridan and John Eddie Williams at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Sheridan and John Eddie Williams. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
Sandie and Ken Cowan at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Sandie and Ken Cowan. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
Houston Rockets introduced on stage at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Houston Rockets introduced on stage. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
Penny and Paul Loyd at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Penny and Paul Loyd. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
Pamela and Chris Walker at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Pamela and Chris Walker. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
Michael and Ileana Trevino, from left, and Janice and Tad Brown at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Michael and Ileana Trevino, from left, and Janice and Tad Brown. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
Liz Brown, from left, Leslie Alexander and Ileana Trevino at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Liz Brown, from left, Leslie Alexander and Ileana Trevino. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
John and Kelli Weinzierl, from left, and DeeDee and Wallis Marsh at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
John and Kelli Weinzierl, from left, and DeeDee and Wallis Marsh. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
Jason and Stacy Johnson at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Jason and Stacy Johnson. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
Janice and Tad Brown at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Janice and Tad Brown. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
Gerald and Anita Smith at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Gerald and Anita Smith. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
Dr. Walt Lowe, from left, Dwight Howard and Dawn Lowe at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Dr. Walt Lowe, from left, Dwight Howard and Dawn Lowe. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
Dan and Lori Wolterman, from left, and Leticia and Steve Trauber at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Dan and Lori Wolterman, from left, and Leticia and Steve Trauber. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
Clyde and Tonya Drexler, from left, and Sherry and Jim Smith at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Clyde and Tonya Drexler, from left, and Sherry and Jim Smith. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
Clarence and Ann Cazalot at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Clarence and Ann Cazalot. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
Cathy and Giorgio Borlenghi at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Cathy and Giorgio Borlenghi. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
Bill King, from left, Neda Ladjevardian, Lisa Malosky and Don Friedell at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Bill King, from left, Neda Ladjevardian, Lisa Malosky and Don Friedell. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
Aaron Berry, left, and James Harden at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Aaron Berry, left, and James Harden. Photo courtesy of © CatchLightGroup
Trevor Ariza, from left, Lisa and Jerry Simon and K.J. McDaniels at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Sherry and Jim Smith, left, with Susan Sarofim at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Sheridan and John Eddie Williams at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Sandie and Ken Cowan at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Houston Rockets introduced on stage at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Penny and Paul Loyd at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Pamela and Chris Walker at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Michael and Ileana Trevino, from left, and Janice and Tad Brown at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Liz Brown, from left, Leslie Alexander and Ileana Trevino at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
John and Kelli Weinzierl, from left, and DeeDee and Wallis Marsh at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Jason and Stacy Johnson at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Janice and Tad Brown at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Gerald and Anita Smith at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Dr. Walt Lowe, from left, Dwight Howard and Dawn Lowe at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Dan and Lori Wolterman, from left, and Leticia and Steve Trauber at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Clyde and Tonya Drexler, from left, and Sherry and Jim Smith at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Clarence and Ann Cazalot at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Cathy and Giorgio Borlenghi at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Bill King, from left, Neda Ladjevardian, Lisa Malosky and Don Friedell at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015
Aaron Berry, left, and James Harden at the Circle of Life Gala April 2015

The Memorial Hermann Foundation Circle of Life Gala had all the elements of a high-energy basketball game Saturday at the Hilton Americas. The Houston Rockets were set to wow, the crowd was buzzing with excitement and the air was electric. It was a perfect combination for one the most anticipated and rollicking good time galas of the season that did not disappoint.

Rockets owner Les Alexlander and the team were official chairs of the gala.

 The Houston Rockets were set to wow, the crowd was buzzing with excitement and the air was electric. 

It was only fitting that the pre-gala VIP cocktail hour was held on the 24th floor of the hotel, where sweeping views of downtown were visible from every angle, giving guests an above it all feel.

Houston Rockets fans used to seeing their hardwood heroes amped up on the court had the opportunity to chat and pose with the affable Dwight Howard and James Harden as well as the rest of the team including Trevor Ariza, Corey Brewer, Patrick Beverley, Clint Capela, Nick Johnson, Terrence Jones, Kostas Papanikolaou, Pablo Prigioni, Joey Dorsey, Josh Smith, and KJ McDaniels. 

Normally clad in sweats and sneakers, the team stepped out of their basketball gear for the evening, which raised $3.3 million for the Memorial Hermann’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine programs.

“It’s nice to see all the guys dressed up. We are normally in sweat pants, so this is bit of a different view,” McHale said. “It’s especially nice to be here for the gala. We have a great relationship with Memorial Hermann. They take really good care of us.”

The gala honored Memorial Hermann board member, civic leader and philanthropist Steve Trauber and his wife, Leticia. Proceeds from the event benefit Memorial Hermann’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine programs, under the direction of Dr. Walter Lowe. Lowe is the medical director of Memorial Hermann’s IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute, professor and chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at UT Medical School at Houston and the official head team physician for the Houston Rockets.

Once the evening was underway, the Rockets added even more power to the charged, glittering ballroom, taking the stage in a great bursts of smoke and music. Team announcer John Paul was a familiar voice in the sold-out ballroom of more than 1,800 guests. Dwight Howard fired the crowd up saying “if James doesn’t win the MVP, we should all riot.”

The Atlanta-based band Simply Irresistible filled the large stage with more than 40 performers and had the dance floor packed all night long.

The good time crowd included Philamena and Arthur Baird, Polly and Murry Bowden, Maria and Neil Bush, Ann and Clarence Cazalot, Yvonne and Rufus Cormier, Jo Lynn and Gregg Falgout, Elizabeth and Will Galtney, Karen and Roland Garcia, Penny and Paul Loyd, Alice and Keith Mosing, Beverly and Jim Postl, Susan Sarofim, Lisa and Jerry Simon, Anita and Gerald Smith, Sherry and Jim Smith, Donna and Tony Vallone, Kelli and John Weinzierl, Sheridan and John Eddie Williams, and Mary and Will Williams.

Senior Memorial Hermann leadership included Memorial Hermann Health System President and CEO Dan Wolterman with wife Lori, and Executive Vice President and CEO of the Memorial Hermann Foundation Ileana Treviño and husband Michael.