PRINCETON, New Jersey — On October 16, 2014, Arthur Gerold lost his life when a truck struck him along with 20 other young people. The memory of Arthur Gerold has led to a foundation that works to protect and educate the youth of Cameroon to become responsible and effective leaders of future societies. This foundation is backed by one of the brightest stars in the NBA today, Joel Embiid.
A little about Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid’s basketball career started later than many youths at age 16. He had been playing in Cameroon for three months before he got an offer to play at the high school level in Florida.
Embiid recalls struggling in his early years, he has spoken about his first practice, where he was so bad his coach kicked him out of the gym and he was made fun of. On top of this, Embiid felt homesick being that he didn’t understand English, didn’t know a single American and didn’t understand the culture. However, his competitive spirit would take over.
He would continue to work on his game throughout high school, especially on his shooting form, and would become a dominant high school prospect. He would go on to play at the University of Kansas where his abilities were apparent and he was eventually drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Since Joel Embiid has been on the court he has been one of the most dominant players in the league. Embiid is a five-time All-Star, was the NBA Scoring Champion this past season, a four-time All-NBA Player, a three-time All-Defensive Player and an MVP Finalist in the last two seasons.
However, he is making just as much of an Impact off the floor.
The Arthur Embiid & Angels Foundation
Joel Embiid and his family created the foundation in the wake of Arthur Gerold’s death to support the protection and distribution of opportunities to the youth of his home country Cameroon.
The official mission of the organization is to support children who have become victims of social fractures in the country through the use of education, health and sports in order to create a productive and positive growing environment, according to its website.
The foundation has key goals when it comes to its projects supported by the three pillars of success they use. The foundation assists school centers by raising funds for elementary teaching materials and the development of school environments.
Sports and health somewhat go hand in hand being activities that are good for the body, but also play a large role in community building which helps to shape strong socially aware young adults going into the future.
Some of the organization’s most recent projects have been donating school supplies to a local high school in Cameroon for its 20th anniversary and partnering with American companies to find future projects which will aid the youth of Cameroon.
Joel Embiid also partnered with UNICEF back in 2017, in which he donated $25,000, for a holiday fundraiser campaign to protect and unite the youth of Cameroon. UNICEF has also made efforts to benefit the lives of those there.
UNICEF is another organization that has taken strides in trying to aid the youth of Cameroon, through the Cameroon Appeal. The goals of the appeal is to acquire $76 million from the U.S. in order to focus efforts on having more than 64,000 children admitted for malnutrition care, have more than 190,000 Cameroonian children vaccinated against measles, reach 390,000 people with critical wash supplies and have more than 341,000 children receive mental health care.
The death of Arthur Gerold along with the 20 other lives lost is a tragedy and Cameroon faces issues such as the urgent need for humanitarian assistance. However, some of that is already being provided by an NBA icon along with other major organizations like UNICEF looking to help those in need.
– Alex Havardansky