NBA has long stood for Nice Benevolent Acts, if you ask us at St. Jude.
From Houston Rockets superstar James Harden playing video games with our patients to the Memphis Grizzlies inviting patients to participate in a team practice, the league also known as the National Basketball Association has been a good friend to us and some of the world’s sickest children.
Basketball’s what they’re best known for, of course, but sidelined in these days of the COVID-19 virus, the league’s players and teams are still making winning moves to help those in need.
In our hometown, Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera reportedly donated 300,000 meals to a local food bank — this after he and the team previously committed to paying part-time, game-night employees through the rest of the home schedule.
Many teams, in fact, have pledged financial support for those most affected these days in the pro sports economy — those hourly workers who are paid only when games are played. Among players, Cleveland Cavaliers star and St. Jude friend Kevin Love started the trend of players supporting game-day staff, saying he would donate $100,000 to workers at the Cavs’ arena.
“When we all stand together, our impact has huge ripple effects on our communities,” Love wrote on Instagram.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie, have pledged $25 million for community aid in Los Angeles, Seattle and Southeast Michigan, and to help fund research to find a vaccine.
In Philadelphia, Sixers ownership and the team’s foundation made a six-figure donation to a local nonprofit that feeds the hungry.
And back in Memphis, Elliot Perry, former NBA player and member of the Grizzlies local ownership group, partnered with Memphis Athletic Ministries to donate 200 meals to the Mid-South Food Bank.
“When we got here this morning the line was insane,” Perry told the Daily Memphian. “It proved to me the tremendous need. Particularly when kids are out of school, and when some parents are out of a job or their jobs have slowed down. This is just a small token to serve our community in a way where we realize that God has blessed us in a lot of ways.”
Recent Grizzlies trade acquisition Justise Winslow and his mother, Robin Davis, then matched the donation of 200 meals.
So, those community ripples of kindness that Love mentioned? They’ve become waves that have spread across the country.