SEATTLE — NBA players are applauded for their hard work on the court, but their charitable work can be equally impressive. Often earning millions of dollars per year, many professional basketball players use their income to make a global impact. Here are five NBA players who give back.
5 NBA Players Who Give Back
- Serge Ibaka– Ibaka is a forward for the Toronto Raptors, whose roots are in the Republic of the Congo. In addition to being a successful NBA player, every year, he works with Cowbell Milk, an African milk brand, to organize the Cowbell Ibaka Games, which celebrate Congolese culture. In addition, Ibaka was named Global Citizen Ambassador for Health, and he also has his own foundation, the Serge Ibaka Foundation, which aims to inspire children no matter what their circumstances may be.
- Al Horford– Horford, a player for the Boston Celtics, is known in the NBA for being charitable on and off the court. Horford is from the Dominican Republic which happens to be one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere. He spent a summer reconstructing basketball courts in Puerto Plata, his hometown, and put together youth basketball clinics. Horford has also been involved with Basketball Without Borders, a charity that focuses on youth engagement in developing countries.
- Steph Curry– In March 2017, Steph Curry, a player for the Golden State Warriors, donated 20,000 pairs of shoes to children in the Republic of the Congo by teaming up with Liberty University. Curry donated shoes as a way to support the athletic development of children in developing countries, as many are unable to play sports due to a lack of access to the necessary equipment. Curry has also worked with the United Nations to provide malaria nets to people in Africa.
- Gorgui Dieng– Dieng, a player for the Timberwolves, has done great work in his hometown, Kébémar, Senegal. He started the Gorgui Dieng Project, which is part of a partnership with a nonprofit called Matter. Matter is an organization with the goal of expanding access to health and resources to developing countries all around the world. Together, the Dieng Project and Matter raised money to provide the hospital where Dieng was born with medical supplies. They also added capacity to a local dialysis center and trained local farmers in sustainability practices.
- Dikembe Mutombo– In May 2018, Mutombo, this retired NBA player received the Sager Strong Award for exemplifying courage and compassion. Mutombo started the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation to improve conditions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The organization’s efforts include a hospital that has treated almost 250,000 people.
These NBA players who give back are known for their work on the court, but it’s important to give recognition to their charitable acts as well. Whether they donate clothes or start nonprofits, these athletes have made an impact on the global community.
– Malena Larsen