NBA Star Kyrie Irving Gives Second Chance to Sick NJ Boy | Chance the Rapper Inspires Investment in Chi-Town

Kyrie Irving has more than his NBA teammates backs. The Cleveland Cavalier also takes care of those reppin’ his junior high school alma mater—The Patrick School.

Upon learning 12-year-old Spencer Joyner was missing school due to a rare brain disorder—where spinal fluid leaks into his skull and cause excruciating headaches–Irving paid for his entire $11,000 tuition bill and medical bills.

The New Jersey native has been back in school for a month and still thriving from the boost Irving gave him.

“I would thank him for all the things that he’s done, paying for my tuition, paying for my medical bills,” Spencer said.

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Irving isn’t the only superstar to open his wallet and hope to make a difference. As you all know Chance the Rapper has been laying down a lotsa stacks to improve Chi-town public schools. This weekend he let his friends in on the act.

Like Seattle Seahawks player Michael Bennett, who vowed to donate his endorsements to the effort.

I was inspired by Chance The Rapper to ‘think bigger’ when he pledged one million dollars to Chicago kids and their school system. So, I’ll be joining him by investing in the future of our youth.

Chance even influenced the Chicago Bulls head office to write a $1 million check to the cause. Chance was even there to watch the check being presented to the schools.

The Chicago Tribune reports 12 Chi-Town schools will receive an extra $10,000 as a result.

At the announcement, Chance said “It is my job, just as who I am, to bring light and attention to public school funding, broken formulas and especially how it affects my hometown … where there’s 90 percent minority students.”

Chance the Rapper Chicago’s Mayor.

Hometown Heroes! Warriors Donate $75K to Oakland Fire Victims

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The Golden State Warriors take care of their own.

The players and coaches dug deep into their pockets to pull out some serious coins for the victims’ families of Oakland warehouse fire that killed 36 people on Dec. 2nd.

Players like Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson huddled up with their coach, Steve Kerr to pledge $75,000 to Oakland fire relief efforts.

According to NBA.com the destroyed Oakland warehouse is only a few miles from Warriors home arena.

Draymond Green said: “As a team that calls the Bay Area our home, we are all devastated by this tragedy that took place right in our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with those that have lost their lives, and our sincere condolences go out to their loved ones.”

The Warriors front office also dished out $50,000 to the Oakland Fire Relief Fund.

The Warriors announced their support for Oakland warehouse fire victims on Wednesday before their matchup with Los Angeles Clippers.

The Warriors even created a PSA to offer condolences and gratitude to first responders.

Check out the clip below.

Yet another reason to root for the home team.

 

 

 

MCM | NBA Hall of Famer Visits Mozambique with UNICEF

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Dikembe Mutombo took a break from defending his house to visit a Mozambique hospital supported by UNICEF last week.

The former Houston Rocket took the sojourn to the southern African nation, alongside Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns, to spread awareness about UNICEF Kid Power–a program meant to combat malnutrition (affecting 16 million children worldwide) by motivating kids to be active.

Dikembe (a UNICEF board member) and Eric met with some of the children battling the illness. And discussed life-saving treatments UNICEF provides for malnourishment, like protein packets the org distributes to each child.

UNICEF Kid Power program also helps kids pay it forward. The more active kids are wearing their power bands, the more points they’ll earn to go on missions spreading the programs effectiveness. Thus saving lives.

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Dikembe did his part too by challenging the local b-ball team to some hoops.

If you’re wondering how well the Maputo team defended their house…the score is still being tallied.

To learn more about UNICEF Kid Power click here.

Cross Country Painting! Amar’e Stoudemire Launched Painting Series for Kids

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NBA baller Amar’e Stoudemire took his talents to Cali this week. I’m talking about those requiring a brush stroke and not a basketball.

The Miami Heat player partnered up with artist RETNA for a live art installation for local kids at Pan Pacific Park to get kids interested in picking up a paintbrush.

In between mixing colors on a canvas–that produced several paintings from Amar’e, RETNA and future Basquiat’s and Davinci’s–Stoudemire played some hoops with the kids.

This is the first stop on the ex-Knick player’s(couldn’t resist, I am native New Yorker after all) cross country tour to promote his “In the Paint” Series meant to connect young artists with emerging ones in local communities through his Melech collection, which fosters his two loves, P+B (painting and basketball.)

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The painting showcases are all to get youngsters motivated about the arts that arent’ necessarily revolved around rapping or singing. Not that anything is wrong with that. Who shouldn’t aspire to Beyonce on any given day? Yet, it would also be nice for kids to know Jean Michel Basquiat, Kehinde Wiley, Jamea Richmond Edwards, Toyin Ojih Odutola, like they do Drake and Nicki Minaj. You’ve likely seen all these artists’ masterpieces, if you’re an avid “Empire” fan like myself.

Anyway, kudos to Amar’e for exposing the kiddos to more forms of art. Below he displays his work, and talks about his passion for painting  with “Late Late Show” host James Corden and Betty White.

Amar’e topped off his artistic visit to Pan Pacific Park by dropping a $20,000 donation. Of course he was honored soon after by the city for his charity work.

 

Allen Iverson Coaches Basketball Team for Charity

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Former 76ers baller Allen Iverson headed to the Philippines earlier this month to volunteer his b-ball skills–not as a player but debuting his coaching abilities–to American and Asian street players. Iverson’s roster consists of of Larry Williams aka “Bone Collector,” for his bone crushing skills battling against defenders and Taurian “Air up There” Fontenette , a slam-dunk champ.

The “All In” charity basketball game had Iverson facing off against Philippines most winningest coaches, Tim Cole, who had NBA veteran Eddy Curry in his arsenal.

Cole took the win, but the real victors are those that’ll benefit from homes built as a result of the charity game.

Iverson’s two-day give back visit also included a press conference and basketball clinic for Filipino kids. Iverson and Cone schooled at least 80 kids–aged 10 to 14–on how to play basketball, according to Philstar.

It’s nice to see the once MVPer in the headlines for something other than his fleeting fortune.

OKC Baller Serge Ibaka Joins UNICEF Campaign to Protect Children in Congo

Serge Ibaka with kids in Congo for UNICEF project. Image Courtesy: OKC Thunder

Serge Ibaka with kids in Congo for UNICEF project.
Image Courtesy: OKC Thunder

On the heels of OKC player Kevin Durant’s heartwarming M.V.P. speech to his mom (dare you not to cry) teammate Serge Ibaka has teamed up with UNICEF in joining their “Get Boys and Girls in the Game” project in renovating and expanding two Congo orphanages.

The power forward, who originally hails from Congo, has donated $315,000 to the UNICEF campaign and vows an additional $500 for every blocked shot he makes during NBA playoffs. Sure beats a drinking game…

Ibaka, a Kia Community Assist Award winner, also hosted a fundraiser for the project last month at a Thunder home game that included raffles, donations and auctions. He met with each raffle and auction winner and encouraged others to give to his hometown.

“UNICEF Gets Boys and Girls in the Game” is a two year campaign to reshape orphanages in Brazzaville and support other helpless children in the region.

The NBA and Kia have donated $10,000 to the UNICEF project on behalf of the NBA player.

To make a pledge please click here

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It’s gratifying that mainstream media has picked up the story on the missing school girls in Nigeria. I hope it will continue to be featured above newspaper folds and as the first story on evening broadcasts. Because as I write this, its been reported that 8 more girls have been kidnapped by the Nigerian Taliban. No girl has been rescued. Let’s pray the foreign assistance will make an impact to reunite these families. #BringBackOurGirls

Kevin Durant Donates Time and Money to Oklahoma Tornado Relief Efforts

40 minutes. Less than an hour for mother nature to unleash a cyclone of ferocity that swept away lives, property and the small town of Moore, Oklahoma. In less than 48 hours, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder was the first to step up relief efforts by donating $1 million dollars to the victims of the tornado.

As well as put boots on the ground. The hoop star visited a local Red Cross chapter….

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…to take donations.

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And helped Red Cross volunteers working at a food shelter pack up supplies.

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More importantly he’s inspired his employer–the NBA–to follow his lead by donating a matching $1 million dollar donation.

And convinced Nike to donate $1 million dollars worth of his merchandise to Okie victims. Including profits from his signature sneaker the Oklahoma City KD V Elites.

 

I don’t know about ya’ll but I think I’ve become a KD fan. Keep up the good work, man.

And, everyone, please continue to send support and prayers to Oklahoma residents effected by this devastating twister scientists characterize as being more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima Japan during WWII. Wow…

To donate time and/or money to the Moore, Okla relief efforts please visit www.redcross.org/Donation or www.regionalfoodbank.com/HelpOK

Sources:

Red Cross Twitter

Buzzfeed