by Micah Hart
Today is a very special day (How special is it?). It’s so special, it’s the five -year anniversary of the launch of NBA Cares, the NBA’s dedicated service program and outreach organization responsible for most of the community service projects you may have seen your favorite players participating in over the past several years.
Check out the stats the program has piled up in that time: $145 millions dollars in charitable donations, 1.4 million hours of community service, and they’ve helped to build over 525 playgrounds and community centers. I gotta say, that’s a pretty impressive haul.
My favorite part of the NBA Cares family is the Basketball Without Borders program, which spans the globe every year to teach basketball and life skills as well as build things like schools and houses. I’ve yet to meet an NBA player who didn’t have a life-altering experience as part of the program. Here is Dwight Howard talking about his trip to South Africa in 2009:
The five-year anniversary also marks the start of the NBA Cares Week of Service, which starts today and runs through Oct. 25th.
You are probably familiar with many of the NBA Cares programs, as they partner with several big-name organizations like UNICEF and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and many lesser known ones as well like KaBOOM!, which is a terrific organization (Cleveland’s Antawn Jamison has launched a partnership of his own with the company) not only for the work they do but because it gives me an excuse to link to my favorite show:
The NBA works very hard to maintain an active role in the communities it lives in, and while some people think of all athletes as spoiled millionaires, anyone who’s ever worked on some of these projects with them can attest that a lot of players really do care and enjoy doing what they can to help those less fortunate than themselves.
Congrats on five years to everyone associated with NBA Cares, and keep up the good work.
Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.