Articles in Category: Foundation Spotlight
What is an athlete? Is it someone who possesses all of the pure athletic ability every young man and woman wishes for on an athletic field? Speed, strength, agility and the determination to do everything and anything necessary to win? Or is it someone who possesses the ability to take pure enjoyment and happiness from the simplest thing on earth…a game? Who is to say that the lucky ones are those who can run faster, jump higher and know how to win? To me, these people are missing out because in my eyes, the lucky ones are the people who are able to see past the score and the statistics to recognize the importance of sports and the kinship and bonds that are developed on athletic surfaces.
In particular, I am speaking about a very special group of people who make up an organization called “Athletes Helping Athletes, Inc.,” AHA for short. AHA is a non-profit organization that uses sports as a foundation for a much greater cause, to build lifelong friendships. According to their website, www.aha-inc.com, “The mission of Athletes Helping Athletes, Inc. is to connect local special needs athletes with mainstream student-athletes in a spirit of friendship for their mutual benefit and inspiration. AHA believes that a world of great acceptance for all can begin with our children, sharing athletic experiences and a love for sport while developing compassion and mutual respect.” As a former athlete that was involved in AHA in my youth, I can say with complete honesty that the Board of Athletes Helping Athletes led by Rick Leonetti accomplishes this mission year in and year out, connecting new generations of mainstream athletes with the special needs athletes in local communities.
A GLIMPSE OF DWIGHT HOWARD OFF THE COURT
Watching Dwight Howard on the basketball court provides basketball fans with everything they could ever want: hustle, intensity, overwhelming power and moves worthy of a SportsCenter highlight reel. Since Howard entered the league out of high school in 2004, he has been dominating the paint. His impressive resume includes averaging a double-double, winning an Olympic gold medal, being selected as an All-Star five times and being voted NBA Defensive Player of the Year an unprecedented three seasons in a row (2009-2011).
Allan Houston Speaks With BSP
In the fall of 2005, after 12 seasons in the NBA (9 with the New York Knicks), Allan Houston retired, ending his career as one of the best three-point shooters ever in the NBA and one of the most prolific scorers in franchise history, period. A two-time NBA All-star who averaged 22.5 points per game in his last healthy season (10th in the league, 2002-03), Houston is remembered as one of the game's purest clutch long-range shooters.
Who can forget Allan Houston's game-winning, off-the-front rim, off-the-backboard-and-into-history, running right-hander that knocked out the Miami Heat in the 1999 playoffs? Back Sports Page sat down with Allan Houston to discuss basketball, as well as, what he calls “more than a charity…a calling,” the Allan Houston Legacy Foundation.
When you think of NBA All Star and Future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd you think of statistics. Kidd has accumulated over 16,000 points, 10,000 assists, 7500 rebounds and over 100 career triple doubles. What goes unnoticed is probably Jason’s greatest assist of all; the Jason Kidd Foundation.
Peja Stojakovic is known as one of the NBA’s best shooters as he is able to be a threat anywhere on the floor. As he makes his mark on the court, Stojakovic has done the same off the court. Stojakovic has been running his own foundation for over seven years which has been raising money both inside and outside the country.
Between building playgrounds and toy dives, Stojakovic will continue holding events after his playing days are over as he is committed to improving not just in the US, but overseas as well. Randy Zellea of Back Sports Page recently spoke with Stojakovic about his foundation.
When asking fans about Tim Hardaway, first thoughts are usually about his tremendous play on the court. Either an amazing assist or teardrop runner in the lane, Tim dazzled fans across the country with his NBA All-Star play. These days, Tim dazzles people in a different way—by giving back through his foundation.'
Backsportspage.com CEO Randy Zellea recently sat down with Boston Celtics All Star Ray Allen to discuss his Ray of Hope Foundation. Ray started the charitable organization upon his entrance into the NBA. The mission statement of the Ray of Hope Foundation is posted on Ray’s personal website; www.RayAllen20.com and neatly sums up its goals:
Wisconsin isn’t really known as a “hotbed” of NBA talent, which may be why no one really heard of Devin Harris coming out of the University of Wisconsin.
In only his second year, Harris was a key player on a Dallas Mavericks team that made it all the way to the NBA Finals before falling to Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O’Neal, and the rest of the Miami Heat in six games.
“It was a great accomplishment,” Harris says of making it to the NBA Championship. “We fell a little short of our goals, though. It was exciting, but it was also very frustrating coming up just short. It drives me to keep working hard.”
Flying somewhat under the radar, Harris exploded during his senior season at Wauwatosa East High School, setting school scoring records through an undefeated regular season. He was named Wisconsin’s “Mr. Basketball” for 2001 and signed to play for the Badgers.