Tim Duncan is the most famous athlete in the history of the U.S. Virgin Islands. While he’s been retired for just over a year now, Duncan wants to use his platform to raise money for the islands after they were “badly damaged” by Hurricane Irma. Duncan penned a letter in The Players Tribune in which he let people know the current state of affairs in his homeland.
Mentioning that he still has friends on the islands, Duncan said that the U.S. Virgin Islands are in trouble for two reasons. Not only has Hurricane Irma damaged the islands, but another storm — Hurricane Jose, which is currently classified as a dangerous category 4 storm — is close behind.
So Duncan is using his platform to help. He mentioned that he’s making a substantial donation to relief efforts on the islands, and that his initial donation isn’t the only one he plans on making.
“I’m donating $250,000 immediately — tonight — to the storm relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands,” Duncan wrote. “And going forward, I pledge to match your donations up to the first $1 million.”
Duncan also discussed his upbringing and why he believes his homeland is so special. He told the story of when Hurricane Hugo, a category 5 storm that occurred in 1989, tore through the U.S. Virgin Islands when he was 13. The destruction left a lasting impact on Duncan — he said that some people died because of the storm, while the economy was “crippled” and he “got good at showering with a bucket.” He also talked about the fondness he developed for Chef Boyardee and, when it was available, Tang.
I lived off that stuff after Hugo. Chef Boyardee was my guy. A distribution center was set up in our neighborhood, and cans of Chef Boyardee were some of the only meals available to us. Tang was a treat, as well, if they had it in the latest shipment — we’d boil water to make sure it was clean, and then mix in the Tang powder.
For a person who managed to keep his personal life out of the spotlight during his playing career, Duncan opened up in a big way with the hopes of helping the U.S. Virgin Islands after the storm. As for how his fundraising efforts are going, Duncan has raised more than $500,000 for the islands so far.
(Via The Players Tribune)