Twin NBA stars Marcus and Markieff Morris were raised in North Philadelphia by their single mother. They went to Prep Charter and call the city their family. This holiday season, they decided to spread some cheer to the surprise of many customers at a Northeast Philadelphia Walmart on Monday. Customers lining up for the final day for layaways at the store on Adams Avenue learned while in line that the Morris twins spent $6,000 toward customers’ Christmas gifts. “God bless them. God bless them!” said customer Roberta Williams of Germantown. “It’s wonderful what they are doing for the people.”
Sacramento Charter High is a predominantly black school that also includes Latino and mixed-race students. It is in Sacramento’s challenged Oak Park neighborhood, and the school’s alumni includes former NBA star and former Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson. Temple credited Galen Duncan, vice president of the Kings Academy and Professional Development, for doing research that identified Sacramento Charter High as a solid choice. Temple also plans to donate money to the school for computers, which he expects the Kings to match. “Sacramento High felt like a place that could really use some help. That is why I chose it,” Temple said.
Hill’s reasons for participation were similar to Temple’s. “I have always been big on the community stuff, especially as crazy as the world is today,” Hill said. “More guys of our stature and more guys that are successful need to really try to give back and take some of these young men and women right underneath our wings and just guide them a little bit.” Hill chose Sacramento’s Encina Preparatory High and is scheduled to meet with their student-athletes Monday in the first of what he hopes to be a monthly meeting this season.
Minnesota Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng will never forget seeing a pregnant woman helplessly lying on the floor waiting for medical attention in a severely antiquated hospital in his hometown of Kebeber, Senegal, about 3 1/2 years ago. It was the same hospital Dieng was born in on Jan. 18, 1990. There was nothing electronic at this hospital. Most beds didn’t have mattresses and patients lay on springs. Babies were warmed in incubators by a light bulb. The odds of getting decent health care were slim.
The NBA veteran is better known in Senegal for what he has done off the court in saving and improving lives than for what he has done on the court in North America. Dieng, 27, is averaging 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in his fifth season with the Timberwolves. He started playing basketball when he was 15 and played in college at Louisville. “He is a celebrity in Senegal in large part because he’s been all over the media there with his foundation and all he is doing to help his people,” said Quenton Marty, president of Minneapolis-based non-profit Matter.
“Gorgui doesn’t want to be known as just a basketball player,” said New York Knicks scout Makhtar N’Diaye, a Senegal native and former NBA player. “In my opinion, he’s becoming a brand in Senegal and is an inspiration to the youth. He’s working towards becoming an icon. It’s all about legacy for him. “Many people have come before him and tried. He came and took it to the next level. The best is yet to come for him.”
Cayleigh Griffin: Tim Duncan announces, alongside Gregg Popovich & SA Food Bank’s President Eric Cooper, that he’s challenging the community to raise $500,000 for the Food Bank this holiday season. Tim will donate $2 for every $1 raised.