Retired basketball star Chris Webber will help the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum raise funds for a $75 million replacement facility scheduled to open on Baltimore's North Avenue corridor in 2015.
The museum announced that Webber, a five-time National Basketball Association All-Star who played from 1993 to 2008, will help launch an initiative next week to raise $4 million for the sports wing of a $7 million gallery of sports, recreation and athletics that will be part of the new museum.
According to planners, the 3,000-square-foot sports wing will be devoted to the history and contributions of black athletes to baseball, basketball, football, boxing, horse racing, tennis, golf, soccer and other professional sports.
The proposed sports gallery would be part of a block-long, 120,000-square-foot replacement museum being designed for the 1600 block of E. North Ave. Preliminary plans were presented earlier this year to Baltimore's Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel.
Webber — whose wife, Erica, is a Baltimore native and a former Baltimore public schoolteacher — is scheduled to host a private reception Monday to announce his fundraising effort.
"We are thrilled that Chris Webber is lending us his considerable celebrity to help us to realize our dream of a new museum," said chief executive officer and co-founder Joanne Martin.