In response to the devastating weather that continues to ravage the South – leaving thousands of families displaced from their homes – the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) stepped on the scene with disaster relief supplies in tow.
This past week, the NBPA, in partnership with Feed The Children, kicked off its “Operation Rebound” efforts in Alabama, where the groups distributed two truck’s worth of food and recovery supplies to more than 200 families at the More Than Conquers Faith Church in Birmingham. These trucks were just two of 23 that are heading to storm-swept communities across Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia this week.
Led by NBPA Vice President and Alabama native Theo Ratliff, as well as NBA Legend Purvis Short, the kickoff efforts impacted numerous men, women and children who are in grave need of assistance.
“It means the world to me to be able to come back home to Alabama and give back to those who have been affected by this disaster,” said Ratliff, Los Angeles Lakers center. “Now more than ever, we need to stand together and lend a hand to those who desperately need it. The devastation here is heartbreaking, but I know firsthand how resilient our communities can be. I have no doubt we will rebuild and recover.”
Launched in 2005, in response to the effects of Hurricane Katrina, “Operation Rebound” is a long-term commitment and partnership between the NBPA, Feed The Children and other humanitarian groups to provide disaster relief and assistance in the rebuilding efforts of local communities.
“The City of Birmingham is in recover and rebuild mode after the storm’s devastation, and the NBPA’s ‘Operation Rebound’ will be a part of that effort as we strive to build a better Birmingham,” said Mayor William A. Bell, Sr. “We thank them for their time and support and for just simply giving of themselves to show that they care about the people of Birmingham.”
Many NBPA members have volunteered to travel and deliver supplies to those in the hard-hit areas, while others have contributed to the efforts, including NBA standouts Chris Bosh, Ben Wallace, D.J. White, Antonio McDyess and Josh Childress. The WNBPA Foundation also is a sponsor.
“Just as we did after Hurricane Katrina, we are honored to help with recovery efforts in the South, and humbled by the amazing show of strength we’ve seen in these communities,” said Purvis Short, NBA Legend and current NBPA Director of Player Programs. “We’re grateful to our partners in the local community for making this possible.”
Through numerous initiatives aimed at positively impacting families throughout the globe, the NBPA and its more than 400 players embody the spirit of giving, leading by example and selflessly contributing to the betterment of society.
In addition to outreach initiatives like “Operation Rebound,” the NBPA continues to make an impact, whether it is distributing holiday meals to families in need, contributing to emergency relief efforts, personally delivering food to the people of Kenya, hosting basketball clinics worldwide, and much more.
“The NBPA is committed to keeping community outreach a top priority, and I am proud of our player’s generosity and dedication to the causes we support,” said Billy Hunter, NBPA Executive Director.