Yep. I know. Been away for a while. Again. My bad. But with the NBA season kicking off tonight, I've got a lot of stuff for ya. This is just the beginning. Um, again.

Tonight we're talking about Gilbert Arenas again, Agent Zero. You've perhaps read about his upcoming adidas Gil II Zero signature shoe (if not here, maybe on his amazing blog) already. Well, yesterday was the selection process for the schools he'll be supporting with his Scores For Schools program. Much more information can be found below, but—in short—every year Gil randomly selects 82 schools from the DC area that he will support that year. He provides $100 per point per home game to 41 schools, one per home game. Wizards owner Abe Pollin pays the same to 41 OTHER schools, one for each AWAY game. You can read the Washington Post story about the selection process (which took place yesterday) here. Last year, Arenas and Pollin donated over $200,000 (Arenas averaged 28.4 ppg). His blog tells a lot more, like how he decided to donate an additional $1,000 to each school that WASN'T selected.
In addition, one of the 20 Gil II Zero shoes (see, a sneaker connection!) will commemorate the Scores For Schools program. The shoe, shown here in a kind of lousy photo, launches in February.

Below you can find the adidas release on the program, as well as links for more information on the Scores For Schools program and Gil's other philanthropic efforts. And stay tuned for much more on Gil and the 2007-08 adidas NBA program.

WASHINGTON, DC - Washington Wizards All-Star guard Gilbert Arenas has pledged to once again "score dollars” for Washington, DC metropolitan area public schools during the 2007-08 season through his ‘Scores for Schools' program. Arenas conducted a live drawing on the main court at Verizon Center on Monday, October 29th to choose the winning schools from a pool of 245 area schools.

Arenas will select one school for every one of the 41 Wizards home games this season and donate $100 for every point he scores to the selected school. Wizards owners Abe and Irene Pollin will continue to match Gilbert's contribution of $100 per point for all 41 of the Wizards road games this season. The ‘Scores for Schools' program will help supply schools with computers, athletic uniforms and equipment, as well as fund after-school programs.

"It is important that I am involved in this project and that the ‘Scores for Schools' program continues to provide financial assistance to local area schools in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia,” said Arenas. "In many ways, this is also a comeback season for me. Since I missed the end of last season with my knee injury, it is important that I see this program through an entire season. I have received a great deal of positive feedback from many schools that this program made a difference in many young people's lives. I want to score a lot of points so we can assist as many students, teachers and schools as possible.”

"Irene and I are proud to join Gilbert again in the very successful ‘Scores for Schools' program,” said Wizards Chairman Abe Pollin. "Gilbert's idea to raise money for area schools through his play on the court proved very popular last season, and we're excited to once again make 41 contributions to area schools for Gilbert's scoring efforts at Wizards road games. We're very proud of Gilbert and his efforts to give back to the community that is so supportive of our franchise.”

Last season, Arenas was the third leading scorer in the NBA with an average of 28.4 points per game. Arenas finished the season with a total of 2,105 points scored, resulting in a total of nearly $215,000 raised by the inaugural ‘Scores for Schools' program last year.

Two of Arenas' marketing partners – adidas and Spalding – will participate in the ‘Scores for Schools' Program. Adidas has created a ‘Scores for Schools' shoe and Spalding will debut ‘Scores for Schools' basketballs and lanyards. Fans can purchase the ‘Scores for Schools' items at www.GilsArena.com. All profits from the sales of the ‘Scores for Schools' logo products will go to the Zero Two Hero Foundation and a donation will be made to the Arial Home Initiative (www.arialhome.org) to partner with them in their goal to build one million homes in ten years. In addition, Adidas will donate 82 pairs of the Scores for Schools shoes for each of the winning schools to display throughout the season. The shoes will be signed by Arenas and marked with the date of each school's NBA game. At the end of the season the winning schools will have the option to put their pair of autographed and dated shoes into an auction on www.GilsArena.com to raise additional money for their students.

About Gilbert Arenas' Philanthropic Efforts:

Since joining the Wizards in 2003, Arenas has been very active in the Washington, DC community. Arenas hosted "Gilbert's Christmas Dream” during the holiday seasons of 2003, 2004 and 2005 to benefit underprivileged DC area children. Arenas won the NBA Community Assist award for the month of August, 2005. In September of 2005, Arenas purchased $18,000 worth of goods and delivered them to Hurricane Katrina victims sheltered at the DC Armory. Arenas also joined former Washington, DC Mayor Anthony Williams to host a holiday party for local teens at Lucky Strike Lanes in December 2005. In June, 2007 he joined NBA Hall of Famer Earvin "Magic” Johnson for the Freddie Mac Hoops for the Homeless Basketball Tournament at Verizon Center to benefit six non-profit organizations that serve the homeless.

If you are interested in learning more about Arenas' ‘Scores for Schools' Program and his Zero Two Hero Foundation, which promotes the safety and well-being of children in challenging family situations, please log on to www.GilsArena.com.