Player of the Month
As we strive to achieve our mission, each month Sporting Generosity will identify an individual that has meant more to the sports world than his or her achievements on the field. This individual will have given back to the community by providing hope to a sick child, financial assistance to an underprivileged youth, or by becoming an advocate for a specific cause. These athletes are people who give back not out of obligation, but out of conviction in its necessity. With that said, please congratulate the September 2010 SG Player of the Month.
Al Horford (September, 2010)
Al Horford, born June 3, 1986, is an All-Star Center/Power Forward for the Atlanta Hawks. Al was born in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. He attended the University of Florida and was a significant part of the back to back NCAA national championship teams. In June 2007, Al was drafted into the NBA with the 3rd overall selection. But like all the athletes we highlight, it's not Horford's on the court accomplishments we're here to highlight; rather it's his off the court work that deserves special recognition.
Since being drafted in 2007, Al has been a permanent fixture in the Atlanta community. Al is an acitve participant in the vast majority of the Atlanta Hawks community initiatives, which includes but is not limited to hospital visits, local Read to Achieve programs, and Thanksgiving Day food drives. Horford has also become the face of the Hawks' Fast Break for Reading program, designed to encourage a life-long love of reading. In 2009, the Atlanta Hawks awarded him the Jason Collier Memorial Trophy, which is presented annually to the individual who best exemplifies the characteristics the former Hawks player displayed off the court as an ambassador to the community. Horford said, "growing up I realized that some people are less fortunate than others. Now that I am an NBA player and in a position to help, I have the opportunity and responsibility to make a difference."
Horford also creates his own community initiatives. Through a program called "Al's Amigos," Horford gives back to underprivileged families in a variety of ways. Working with community centers such as Caminar Latino, La Amistad and the Star House, Al's focus is presenting opportunities for the social enrichment of children and teens. Beginning initially with a ticket purchase program for deserving youth, Horford has grown "Al's Amigos" to include an annual holiday night out at Dave and Busters where a group of children are treated to dinner, games, prizes and more.
On Tuesday, January 12, 2010 tragedy struck in the form of a catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The devastation continues to plague the area today. Less than six days after the tragedy struck, a group of athletes joined alliances to provide emergency medical supplies and essentials to those affected.
Through the Athletes Relief Relief Fund for Haiti, over $800,000 was contributed towards this humanitarian aid. Horford, originally from the neighboring Dominican Republic, individually contributed approximately $50,000. The Athletes Relief Fund was founded by Alonzo Mourning and Dwayne Wade and all contributions were directed to Project Medishare.
In August of 2010, Horford hosted a free basketball clinic in the Dominican Republic. The clinic was in his home town of Puerto Plata and also in Santo Domingo. The groups of kids selected to participate in the clinic are standouts in their communities and schools.
Said Horford, "although this is the first time I've done an event like this in the Dominican, it is something I have always wanted to do. These clinics are a great opportunity for me to give back to my community, while doing something I love and sharing my knowledge of basketball at the same time.
Please join us in congratulating Al Horford on all of his community initiatives. He's just another example of a great person sporting his cause.
The Babac'Ards Foundation, founded by Boris Diaw of the Charlotte Bobcats, has a mission of improving the lives of Senegalese children. They are currently fundraising to open a women's training facility. Please click here for more information.
Every day, hundreds of athletes and organizations are showing a tremendous amount of generosity to their community. Here at SG, we can’t possibly know about everything taking place. Please, if you are or know of a professional athlete or organization that has used sport to make our world a better place, please click here to share your or their story.
Sporting Generosity would like to recognize Anquan Boldin, all-pro wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens for his outstanding achievements. Click here for more details.