The LDS missionaries who recently performed the national anthem at a Utah Jazz-San Antonio Spurs basketball game won't be going on tour.
They won't appear on American Idol anytime soon, either.
But their nicely done rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" — performed on Saturday, April 9 at the sold-out AT&T Center — is just a click away on YouTube.
As part of an unofficial Mormon night, 19 missionaries, including the group's director, auditioned and performed the national anthem prior to the Jazz-Spurs game. At halftime, ex-Spurs standout and current broadcaster Sean Elliott received a five-generations-deep family tree from San Antonio members of the LDS Church, including professional genealogist Jim Bratt.
The night's events — and thoughts on the experience by missionaries (who happen to be Jazz fans) — were published in this Deseret News/Mormon Times article.
The San Antonio News-Express also ran a feature story previewing the event and Elliott's participation the day of the game.
Texas San Antonio Mission President Steve Jones and his wife, Suzanne, helped round up missionaries for the well-received choir. Ten elders and eight sisters sang, and the group included missionaries serving in San Antonio from eight U.S. states, America Samoa and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The halftime presentation included Elliott and his wife, Claudia Zapata-Elliott; Eric Cooper (CEO and president of the San Antonio Food Bank and a member of the Canyon Springs Ward, San Antonio Texas Hill Country Stake); Jim Bratt (local genealogist from the Stone Oak Ward, San Antonio Texas North Stake, who did Elliott's research); and Doug Clark (San Antonio multistake public affairs director and member of the Sonterra Ward, San Antonio Texas North Stake).
Here is the transcript of the presentation, which took place at center court moments before the third quarter of the Spurs' 111-102 win over the Jazz began:
Announcer: Turn your attention to center court where former Spur Sean Elliott is about to receive a special honor from Eric Cooper, President and CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with Jim Bratt, a local genealogist and Doug Clark, a local spokesperson for the Church.
Eric Cooper: Most people know me as that Food Bank guy, a huge Spurs fan or a Mormon. To me families are so precious. Families are certainly a foundation of our community.
Sean, thank you for being a great member of our community. You're a great role model, a great father to your family, a great husband to your wife, Claudia, and on behalf of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons, professional genealogist, Jim Bratt, our Public Affairs, Doug Clark, we'd like to present to you with your family tree.
Your ancestors have been traced back for five generations. I enjoyed reading about them in the article in today's (San Antonio) Express News. Sean, what are your thoughts about what you've learned about your ancestors?
Sean Elliott: Well first off, I just want to thank The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of course, Jim and Doug, and you Eric, of course. This has been a unique experience for me; I would recommend this to everybody.
You know, going back and learning about your family tree and see where you came from has really done wonders for my family and brought my family together. My dad and I were on the phone the other night for two hours talking about it. Our family tree is really something sensational, I'll tell you what, I liked being touched by your guys' wonders for bringing my family together and I truly am just very appreciative and very thankful. Thank you.
Eric Cooper: I'll tell you Sean, learning about our ancestors is a pretty incredible journey. And we want Spurs fans to know that there are 12 genealogical centers here in San Antonio to help them with their family research, and they can learn more on our website – familysearch.org.
Now let's get back to the game – and Go Spurs Go!
Here is the rehearsal video included in the original article:
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