One of the best and most underappreciated parts of the NBA is the tremendous impact individual teams have on their local communities. Players and their organizations participate in all sorts of outreach initiatives that donate time, money, and resources to improving overall quality of life for those less fortunate.
Every year, the Blazers’ SB Nation site hosts a “Blazer’s Edge Night” in March, for which they gather donations designed to help send needy fans to a home game. As you might imagine, they get inundated with requests from throughout the local community, and this year, one particular request left an impression.
A local 5th grade teacher sent the following request in hopes that she might be able to procure tickets for her class, in particular a trio of students who she says are devoted basketball fans and have gained strength and confidence from the sport they love so much.
Here’s a brief excerpt of the letter, via Dave Deckard of Blazer’s Edge:
Basketball turned them from three lonely, isolated boys at the beginning of the year to their own little team. I can only imagine how my class, but especially those three would feel if I got to tell them they could see the Blazers play for real. I think on that day they’d walk away from school with their heads up. If it’s possible my dream is to get a picture of those three boys sitting together at a real game. It’s something I’d treasure for a lifetime.
It didn’t take long for Blazers big man Meyers Leonard to catch wind of the request on Twitter, and he quickly promised to help make it happen.
Getting to see an NBA game might seem insignificant in certain ways, but there’s no telling the impact it might have on these underprivileged youth who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford to go see their hometown team in action. It’s just another testament to the immense potential the NBA has to make a positive influence in the community.