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Former Phoenix Suns star joins 'Sleeves Up AZ' campaign to encourage African American community to get vaccinated

Cedric Ceballos spent 20 days in the hospital battling COVID-19. Now, he and the Arizona Coalition for Change are advocating for vaccinations.

PHOENIX — Former Phoenix Suns star Cedric Ceballos survived his bout with COVID-19. He joined a new campaign called ‘Sleeves Up AZ’ on Wednesday that aims at fighting vaccine hesitancy in the African-American community.

Phoenix Suns fans remember Ceballos winning the 1992 NBA Slam Dunk Championship blindfolded. He was also a member of the 1992-93 Suns team that lost in the NBA Finals to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls.

In September, fans were shocked when Ceballos tweeted out a picture of himself lying in the ICU with an oxygen mask battling coronavirus – asking everyone for prayers.

“It was very traumatic, and it also had a powerful impact on myself and also my family,” Ceballos explained at a press conference at Eastlake Park in Phoenix.

In total, he spent 20 days in the hospital.

RELATED: Former Phoenix Suns player, Cedric Ceballos, in ICU with COVID-19

Now he’s joining the Arizona Coalition for Change to encourage members of the African-American community to get the right information about the disease.

“We are all in this together. And in order to achieve and also to conquer COVID-19, we’re going to have to try to give all our efforts and do it together,” Ceballos said.

Members of the coalition will be going door to door to get the word out.

Arizona State Representative Reginald Bolding said some people may not have access to all the information or know where they can get the vaccine.

“The more awareness that you bring to people directly to their front door. To people they know, and they trust, you’re starting to see individuals seek more information, and often times that information is leading people to get vaccinated.”

Sena Mohammed hopes to ease some of the hesitancy in the community through open dialogue.

“Where we’re actually able to ask why. Share personal stories and have that relatability to engage in a conversation that is fruitful,” said Sena Mohammed with the Arizona Coalition for Change.

Ceballos explained it’s going to take a team to win this too.

“It’s a tough struggle but it’s not just going to happen by the doctors and scientists alone. We got to have a collection from people from all walks of life to help us all out so we can conquer this,” Ceballos said emphatically.

For more information, visit http://sleevesupaz.com

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