The tenth anniversary of the Desert Smash Showdown, hosted by Will Ferrell will be taking place on March 3rd-4th 2014 at the La Quinta Resort & Club.
Leading into the neighboring BNP Paribas Open, the two-day tennis and golf event will benefit Cancer for College, a 501c3, non-profit organization that provides college scholarships for cancer survivors. Since 1993, the charity has granted nearly $2 million to more than 1,000 cancer survivors.
To kick off the event on Monday, March 3, 2014, “The 21st Annual Will Powered Golf Classic” will take place on at the Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert, CA. The tournament will be played in a shamble format with planned ceremonial tee off at 12 noon featuring Ferrell and Cancer for College Founder Craig Pollard.
March 4th, 2014, marks Day 2 and the 10th Anniversary of the Desert Smash, and tennis portion of the Showdown. The day kicks off with The Desert Smash Pro/Celebrity-Am Tennis Tournament, where donating amateurs pay to play with celebrity players and WTA/ATP Tour Pros. Following the Pro/Celebrity-Am Tournament, the fan favorite, Pro-Tennis Exhibition will kick off at 2:15pm on La Quinta’s intimate Stadium Court. Early players scheduled to appear at this year’s exhibition include: past participant ATP World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, and 2013 Australian Open Doubles Champions and ATP World No. 1 Doubles Team Bob & Mike Bryan. Players that have participated in the past include: WTA World No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki, Andre Agassi, Stefanie Graf, Marat Safin, Victoria Azarenka and Mardy Fish. Last year’s big celebrity battle with Novak Djokovic & Jeremy Piven vs. RedFoo and Mardy Fish was an entertaining, fun match that the crowd loved!
Ferrell spoke about the reason for his involvement in the Smash: “Cancer for College is an amazing cause. To see these cancer survivors realize their dream of a college education is inspiring. You know what else is inspiring? Me embarrassing Kevin Spacey on a tennis court in front of a thousand people. Those Academy Awards aren’t going to help him one bit when I’m raining fire on him from the baseline. It’s going to be a sight to behold. If an exhibition of pure athletic prowess does not make you want to give to this great cause, I don’t know what will.”
Kevin Spacey said he’s been training for months with premier coaches for his Pro/Celeb match against Ferrell. He sounds off taunting, “Will, I have long admired you, as I hope you know; but there will be no mercy in Palm Springs. I have taken this assignment like the greatest method actor who ever walked the face of the boards of the most inspired playhouse of all time . . . Za Actor’s Studio (and not just Inside but Outside too!) I’m ready, excited and very, very pumped to head out on the court and KILL YOU AT THE NET!!!!!”
The Desert Smash Celebrity/Pro-Am Tournament will have currently ranked WTA and ATP Tour players and some of the best known celebrity players. One of this year’s participants will be Ana Ivanovic. Past participants include: Stan Wawrinka, Ivan Ljubicic, Dinara Safina, Ernests Gulbis, Daniela Hantuchova, Paul Henri Mathieu, Xavier Malisse, James Blake, Jack Sock and Grand Slam Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Celebrities scheduled to appear this year include event host and “Anchorman” star Will Ferrell, two-time Oscar winner and current House of Cards star Kevin Spacey, Kaley Cuoco (Big Bang Theory), Justin Chambers (Grey’s Anatomy), Kevin McKidd (Grey’s Anatomy, Brave), Timothy Olyphant (Justified, Live Free or Die Hard), RedFoo (LMFAO), Jeremy Piven (Entourage, Old School), Lance Bass and Boris Kodjoe.
Past celebrity attendees included: Michael B. Jordan, Christian Slater, Gavin Rossdale, Gwen Stefani, Ryan Kwanten, Joe Pesci, Justin Chambers, Timothy Olyphant, Boris Kodjoe, Michael Vartan, Lance Bass, Joanna Garcia, Eliza Dushku, Jennifer Morrison, and Kirk Fox.
Capping off an epic two days of fundraising and tennis, the celebration will continue into the night with the 10th Anniversary Desert Smash Player Party, which will give supporters and attendees the chance to rub elbows with both Hollywood celebrities and tennis stars while supporting Cancer for College through an exciting live auction all the while enjoying cocktails, a fun selection of food and a surprise live musical performance.
Ferrell notes: “This event is going to be huge. I believe, between the golf and tennis alone, we’re expecting over 12 million people at the Desert Showdown this year. It might be a record for attendance. It’s gonna make Coachella look like a pancake breakfast. Look, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It’s going to be a lot of work, but there’s nothing easy about cancer. It can devastate a family physically, emotionally and financially. It’s what makes Cancer for College so important. They make a college education a reality for these survivors who have been through so much. Helping these families after all they have been through is the absolute least we can do.
For more event details, to participate, buy tickets or to make a donation, please visit: www.desertsmash.com