NBC6's Sharon Lawson spoke with the Miami Heat's DJ Irie about the 9th Annual Irie Weekend, the Heat's second NBA Finals win and Monday's Parade.
The ninth annual Irie Weekend kicks off Thursday, bringing a mix of celebrities, athletes and homegrown talent to Miami Beach.
"This is how we kick off summer in Miami," Irie told NBC6.
The star-studded event benefits the Irie Foundation which helps South Florida's at-risk youth through mentorship programs and scholarship opportunities.
Irie, whose real name is Ian Grocher, began the foundation two years ago, inspired by work he had been doing with former Heat player Alonzo Mourning and former Miami Dolphins player Jason Taylor.
"I saw a real need to help the graduation rate in hard-hit areas," he said. "It's important for someone like me to set that example. Everyone can do it on some level."
Following a mentoring workshop with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Irie Weekend will get the party started Thursday night with an invitation-only reception at The SLS Hotel in South Beach. Friday will feature a celebrity golf tournament and a welcome concert at LIV Nightclub at the Fontainebleau.
The celebration will go on Sunday with a bowling tournament for Irie Foundation kids and close with a party at Mokai.
And Irie says you can expect to see your favorite Miami Heat players throughout the weekend.
Until then, it's time to get ready for Monday's parade.
"I am so ready for the parade on Monday," Irie said. "I'm ready to take it to the streets of Miami."
For more information about Irie Weekend and the Irie Foundation, visit www.irieweekend.com.