Dec 11, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) reacts after a play against the Boston Celtics during the fourth quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
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Philanthropy has always been an important part of the OKC Thunder organization. And often, each player finds his own way of giving back to the community during the holiday season.
As part of the Thunder’s Holiday Assist campaign, various players from the organization team up with businesses and nonprofits around the city to help their neighbors in need.
Here’s a look at a few of the philanthropic efforts benefiting the Oklahoma City community this year:
Shopping Spree The entire team took part in a holiday shopping spree for families in the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program from Sunbeam Family Services. Each child was given a $250 gift card, and each grandparent received a $500 gift card. The children were then paired with a Thunder player who took them through the aisles of Target. According to News 9 in Oklahoma City, several players bought gifts so the families could use their gift cards later.
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“It’s cool to be here and share the Thunder spirit,” Kanter said. “It’s priceless to see everyone smiling.”
B-I-N-G-O Steven Adams and Enes Kanter brought friends Andre Roberson and Alex Abrines to Brookdale Village for a few rounds of bingo in the retirement home. Kanter reportedly played with three cards, while Adams befriended a woman he referred to as his “peach.”
Stocking Stuffers Four of Santa’s very, very tall elves surprised volunteers at the United Way Stockings of Joy program this December. Anthony Morrow, Enes Kanter, Jerami Grant, and Joffrey Lauvergne helped stuff more than 5,000 stockings to benefit underprivileged children and elderly members of the community.
Food for Dunks Enes Kanter announced he will donate 10 meals to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma for every rebound and basket he makes during December home games. That means, his 14-points-six-rebounds performance against the Celtics already earned 200 meals for the food bank.
And, the holiday season isn’t yet over. As the Oklahoma City Thunder players bring their talent to the court, they’ll continue making a difference in the community that supports them.