While Hurricane Dorian has finally moved off of the Bahamas and travels up the east coast of the United States, the devastation it wracked on the small chain of islands and its inhabitants is only now beginning to be accounted for. Homes have been destroyed, infrastructure laid waste to, and citizens are feeling the after affects of the storm in what they have lost.
Deandre Ayton is the latest NBA player, following the fundraising efforts of fellow Bahamian Buddy Hield, to pledge monetary support and ask fans to give what they can to the overwhelmed country. Ayton announced on Instagram that he is pledging $100,000 toward hurricane relief and is planning a donation drive alongside the Phoenix Suns to be held on Sept. 10. Items needed range from heavy-duty work gloves that will be used to haul and clean up debris, first aid kits, water, generators, non-perishable food as well as monetary donations.
The timing for disasters such as Dorian, a category 5 hurricane and the strongest the Bahamas had ever seen, is never right, but for this to hit at a time where most players are beginning to get into their pre-season training routines must feel especially jarring for players like Ayton and Hield. That their franchises are doing the right thing by them, and for their home, and letting the players lead in relief efforts is empowering as it is important. It will hopefully lead to other players and teams, regardless of them having a personal connection in their roster or not, to step up and help or else amplify these efforts however they can — Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks has already joined Hield and Ayton in making a donation.