On August 10, Marcus and Markieff Morris and their Family Over Everything Foundation hosted their 5th Annual Backpack Giveaway at Hunting Park Recreation Center in North Philadelphia, a place where the brothers spent much of their time as youth…Read More
Bouncing from the L.A. Dodgers to the Cincinnati Reds and now to the Cleveland Indians, all in the span of seven months, MLB right fielder Yasiel Puig is still managing to make time for his off-the-field priorities, namely his philanthropic work. Despite relocating across country, Puig has stayed committed to giving back to the place he called home for seven years…Read More
This past July, Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn spent eight days of his NFL offseason in the rural Maasai region of Tanzania making quality education a reality for children in the region. Through their recently established Lynn Family Foundation, Lynn and his wife, NBC New York news anchor Stacey Bell Lynn, helped establish a new school for approximately 300 children grades K-3…Read More
Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown is much more than an athlete. He is a social change advocate striving to reform education in America. This past June, MIT Media Lab selected the 22-year-old former California Golden Bears standout to be one of its 2019 Director's Fellows, along with other innovators who will bring their unique insights, perspectives and ideas to address society’s biggest challenges…Read More
Carolina Panthers linebacker Brandon Chubb has an impressive new achievement to add to his resume — but it was nothing to do with football. Recently, Chubb graduated from Harvard Business School’s Crossover Into Business program, launched in 2017 in partnership with the NBA. The program aims to equip professional athletes with business skills to help them effectively navigate and advance their careers in sports and beyond…Read More
On June 17, The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation kicked off its fourth annual Young Dragons Summer STEAM program, a free six-week summer camp offered to middle school students in West Philadelphia. In partnership with Drexel University’s ExCITe Center, the program offers innovative STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts/Athletics, and Mathematics) activities developed specifically for students ages 10-14 years old…Read More
The 2019 Most Valuable Philanthropist (MVP) Basketball Awards provided guests with a night to remember. Held at the stunning Glasshouse Chelsea in New York City on the eve of the 2019 NBA Draft, the event kicked off with a special VIP reception where guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvre and cocktails while mingling in an intimate setting with honored guests, including:
Derek Anderson - 2019 Most Valuable Philanthropist
Bam Adebayo - 2019 Rising Star
Dave Sanderson - 2019 Courage Award
Sarah Kustok - NBA Analyst and Host of the 2019 MVP Basketball Awards
Additionally, VIP guests got an early viewing of the event's silent auction items, which ranged from an autographed poster of Mike Tyson from the infamous “Punch-Out!!” NES video game to trips to resorts in Bali and Costa Rica.
Following the VIP reception and arrival of the remaining guests, Alycia Powell and Michelle Mays, co-founders of Champions for Philanthropy (CFP), took the stage to begin the awards ceremony. First up, they honored 2019 Courage Award winner Dave Sanderson, who was the last person to disembark the infamous “Miracle on the Hudson” plane in 2009. Sanderson captivated guests as he described his reasons for waiting to leave the plane after the crash, stating, “the right thing for me is always to take care of other people first.”
Next, 2019 Rising Star Bam Adebayo and 2019 Most Valuable Philanthropist Derek Anderson joined NBA analyst Sarah Kustok for a conversation about their motivations and insights around philanthropy. Anderson emotionally described how his parents' abandoning him as a child led him down the path of giving back. He specifically noted that “common courtesy, people skills, and life training” helped him survive his youth, and he urged that these three principles return to our school systems.
Adebayo, who is 23 years younger than Anderson, showcased his colorful personality and kept the crowd entertained, humorously admitting his lack of life experience in comparison to Anderson. However, Adebayo turned solemn when describing his difficult upbringing by his single mother and his desire to impact the lives of children who face similar circumstances, stating, “I do the work I do for the kids, and it brings joy into my heart.”
Following the MVP Basketball Awards, Champions for Philanthropy participated in the Elevated Draft Reception, which featured conversations about wealth, philanthropy and social impact planning. Panelists from Alliance Bernstein and CFP, along with basketball legend Tom Hoover and Chicago Bulls player Wendell Carter Jr., spoke to draft prospects and their families about building a legacy through philanthropy. Mr. and Mrs. Carter also delivered a lively keynote about their experience as NBA parents.
Learn more about the 2019 MVP Basketball Awards.
Seattle Seahawks All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner is making progress this offseason not only on his game but also in his community. On May 4, Wagner teamed up with nonprofit organization Generosity Feeds and Seattle-based social enterprise MOD Pizza to pack meals for 10,000 children in his hometown of Ontario, California…Read More
NBA superstar Kevin Durant is best known for leading the Golden State Warriors dynasty, and previously for his domination with the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, his philanthropy off the court will arguably leave the most lasting impact. A prime example is the Durant Center, an educational facility he recently helped open in his hometown of Prince George’s County, Maryland…
Legendary golfer and Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree Tiger Woods recently won the 2019 Masters Tournament for his 15th major victory and first title in 11 years. His success off the course, however, deserves its own highlight reel. Over two decades ago, Woods established the TGR Foundation, whose mission is to empower minority students through education and to create community-based programs that provide necessary resources for students to succeed…Read More
When the Brooklyn Nets faced the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on April 7, Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie was wearing an extra special pair of sneakers. Designed by Dinwiddie himself through his K8iros sneaker brand recently launched in partnership with Project Dream, Dinwiddie’s Nipsey Hussle tribute sneakers paid respects to the Los Angeles-based rapper and community activist gunned down on March 31.Read More
A native of Riverdale, Maryland, former NFL running back Tobias Dorzon continues to make a name for himself as a rising executive chef in Washington D.C.’s culinary circuit. Founder of Victory Chefs Catering launched in 2014 and The Victory Truck launched in 2018, Dorzon has built a loyal following as a private chef and caterer for professional athletes and celebrities nationwide since leaving his professional football career behind a few years ago…Read More
With the launch of his new foundation, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy continues to demonstrate his commitment to giving back. A nine-year NFL veteran who has made the NFL All-Pro team three-times and Pro Bowl six times, McCoy credits his parents, both youth preachers in the Oklahoma City area when he was growing up, for teaching him about the importance of serving the community and helping those in need…Read More
Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris is already paying it forward in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection just weeks after his February trade from the Los Angeles Clippers. On March 21, Harris held a Women’s History Month empowerment event for 40 middle school girls at the Shepard Recreation Center in West Philadelphia.
Partnering on his “Game Changers: Women in Sports, Tech & Literacy” event with Team Up Philly, an organization that provides sports and enrichment programs for local girls, Harris led a panel of women accomplished in various roles and industries in discussions related to academic success, mentorship, and resiliency.
“I’m excited because I’m up here with some phenomenal women that are here to just talk to you guys to inspire you to continue to grow in whatever career you guys want to grow in,” stated Harris as he introduced the panelists to the girls. “You guys [attendees] are the leaders. Really understand that confidence you have and bring it about and not be afraid of it.”
Featured panelists were:
Maya Francis, West Philadelphia native and writer, editor and contributor for various national media outlets
Kiera Smalls, West Philadelphia native and executive director at Philly Startup Leaders, an organization that supports emerging entrepreneurs
Serena Winters, 76ers reporter for NBC Sports Philadelphia
Ivana Seric, data scientist for the Philadelphia 76ers
In addition to the insight and inspiration the girls received at the event, attendees left with tangible takeaways too. Harris generously gifted each girl with the book “Game Changers: The Unsung Heroines of Sports History” by Molly Schiot. He also provided the girls with special drawstring backpacks.
Philadelphia may be new to Harris, but philanthropy is not. Among other charitable endeavors, Harris hosts his School of Business Basketball Camp ever summer for about 100 underserved youth in his hometown of Long Island, New York. Free of charge and held at the state-of-the-art Yes We Can Community Center, the camp aims to prepare youth for futures beyond basketball.
Now in his eighth NBA season, the former Tennessee Volunteer and first round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft is continuing to do his part to educate and empower underserved youth to see past what the world so often tells them is impossible.
Stay up to date with Tobias!
Frederick K.C. Price III Christian Schools in South Los Angeles honored alumnus and Brooklyn Nets guard Allen Crabbe during a ceremony on March 20 for his six-figure donation last summer to save the school from financial demise. Fittingly, Price paid tribute to Crabbe by naming their basketball court in his honor…Read More
Over two decades ago, Misty Copeland took up dance at the late age of 13 at her local Boys & Girls Club in Southern California. Since then, she has literally and figuratively been bringing a brilliance of color to the world of ballet. The first African American woman to earn the role of principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre in 2015, Copeland is on a mission to ensure young ballerinas of color have the opportunity to achieve her same level of success…Read More
On March 2, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar partnered with Goldin Auctions to sell memorabilia and other items from his NBA Hall of Fame career, including his championship rings and MVP and All-Star trophies. Raking in nearly $3 million from the auction, Abdul-Jabbar is donating most of the proceeds to his Skyhook Foundation, a charity he established in 2009 to provide children in economically challenged communities with educational opportunities based in science, technology, engineering and mathematics…Read More
Last night, LeBron James became the fourth highest scoring NBA player of all-time, passing none other than Michael Jordan. Tonight, we honor him by highlighting four of the innumerable ways he is leaving an extraordinary legacy off the court too.
Last month during NBA All-Star Weekend, James and the LeBron James Family Foundation brought 23 students from the foundation’s 330 Ambassador program to Charlotte for its annual weekend of community service and career development. In addition to enjoying All-Star Weekend festivities and visiting with James, the students received career advice from the Carolina Panthers and spent time volunteering at Samaritan’s Feet, an organization that donates shoes to those in need.
This past October, James received the Offseason NBA Cares Community Assist Award and a $10,000 grant from the NBA towards his foundation. The NBA honored James with the award for the opening of his I Promise School last summer in Akron, OH, for over 240 third and fourth grade students. The public elementary school also includes a Family Resource Center that provides job and legal support, GED classes, a food pantry and other services for parents and family members of students.
With all the fanfare surrounding James’ I Promise School, some may have forgotten the $42 million worth of scholarships he pledged to the University of Akron in 2015. His gift will help cover the cost of four-year college degrees for approximately 1,000 local students from his foundation’s I Promise program. In addition to opening the school and granting scholarships, LeBron has also donated many millions over the years to other education and youth development organizations around the country, including After-School All-Stars, Boys & Girls Clubs, and Right Moves for Youth.
In 2016, James and his business partner Maverick Carter donated $2.5 million to the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C. They were joined by numerous other athlete and celebrity donors, including Michael Jordan who donated $5 million. James and Carter’s gift went towards the museum’s “Muhammad Ali: A Force For Change” exhibit, which celebrated Ali’s legacy and efforts to fight social injustice — something James has become increasingly active in over the years too.
From James’ NMAAHC donation to his variety of media productions, including “Shut Up and Dribble,” a three-part docu-series that explores the role of athletes as social activists, and “Kneading Dough,” a video series that seeks to normalize conversations around personal finance, James recognizes the importance of not just giving to underserved communities but also empowering them.
LeBron James, fourth all-time scorer in the NBA, is the definition of what it means to be (much) more than an athlete.