Twenty players from the National Basketball Association (NBA) have committed to supporting Direct Relief in their effort to help the people of Japan recover from the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011.
Many of the players are donating $1,000.00 for every point they score in their respective games occurring March 25-27th including LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol, Al Horford, JaVale McGee, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. Others have committed to a set donation including DJ Augustin, Jarron Collins, Jason Collins, Mike Dunleavy Jr., Tyreke Evans, Danilo Gallinari, Xavier Henry, Antawn Jamison, Jason Kapono, Quincy Pondexter, Brian Scalabrine, Etan Thomas, and Ben Wallace.
The donations will go to Direct Relief’s Japan Relief and Recovery Fund. Formed with the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the Fund supports the immediate health needs of people by working with local authorities best situated to assess, respond, and prepare for the long-term recovery.
“We are incredibly proud that our athletes have rallied together to assist with Direct Relief’s efforts in Japan,” said Arn Tellem, principal of the management division of leading sports marketing and management agency, Wasserman Media Group, that represents the athletes. “Due to the gravity of the situation, we hope that citizens around the world consider following the example of our athletes by making a donation of any amount to an organization of their choice assisting in the Japanese relief efforts.”
Direct Relief has already provided emergency funds for the provision of emergency materials for thousands of displaced persons in 20 facilities throughout Miyagi prefecture, with special attention being paid to the needs of persons with disabilities and elderly persons.
“Direct Relief responds to emergencies all around the world, including the U.S., and the scale of the tragedy in Japan is immense by any measure,” said Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief. “These world-class NBA athletes are showing world-class generosity to support people in Japan who need help now and will still need it as the headlines fade. We hope they light up scoreboards this weekend.”