Monday, September 12, 2005

Katrina & Sports

NBA and NFL players have been incredible in their support, both emotionally and financially, for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The charity and support of these players should not go unrecognized.
My favorite basketball player (I'm originally from Cleveland), Lebron James, was part of three amazing things in the past week:
LeBron James helped load four tractor-trailers with diapers, school supplies, food and other items for victims of Hurricane Katrina. The Cleveland Cavaliers' star spent about $120,000 in two hours Thursday at a Sam's Club warehouse store in Fairlawn, Ohio, near his hometown of Akron. The goods will be sent to Houston, Louisiana and Mississippi.
"He just thought he had to from the heart, decided that this is what he had to do," James' mother, Gloria James, said as forklifts behind her moved cases of paper towels, canned tuna and other items onto the trucks. "And here we are."
James bought "everything from diapers right on down to school supplies," said the Sam Club's Christina Knox. "This is a lot of what they need right now."
...the proceeds being raised as part of Sunday's charity all-star game, carried on TNT at 11 p.m. Kobe Bryant...leads a who's who of talent in the event at Houston's Toyota Center. Garnett, Marbury, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Steve Francis, Chauncey Billups, Paul Pierce, Antonio McDyess, Amare Stoudemire, Alonzo Mourning, Jermaine O'Neal and Ron Artest are also expected to play.
Chris LaRoche doesn't have any clothes, toys or a place to go home to, but on Sunday the 12-year-old's dream came true when he played basketball against LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Chauncey Billups, Ron Artest and a host of other NBA stars.
LaRoche and about 1,100 other Hurricane Katrina evacuees living in Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center got a morning visit from about a dozen NBA players in town for an evening charity game.
"I can't believe it," LaRoche said, a huge grin on his face. "I was guarding LeBron. It was so crazy."
James and the other players spent about 90 minutes playing with kids, signing autographs and greeting fans.
"Hopefully we can put some smiles on their faces and maybe for just that little moment they cannot think about what happened," James said.
I think they have.
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