Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Gilbert Arenas' Scores for Schools Program

Washington Wizards superstar Gilbert Arenas is the third-leading scorer in the NBA, which makes many Washington, D.C. schools very happy.

Why is that? For every point that Arenas scores in a game, he donates $100 to a D.C. area school. Also involved is Wizards owner Abe Pollin, who matches Arenas' point scoring donations at all of his away games.

How it works: Schools register to be entered into a lottery for a chance of winning cash for their school. This year, 82 schools were chosen to attend the program's event at the Verizon Center, which brought out 1,200 students, teachers and principals.

Snippets from the Washington Post:

It's a hefty bag of cash, especially for such schools as Southeast's Simon Elementary, where "we need computers," math resource teacher Jennifer Johnson said amid the din. "And we need resource books for teachers. And we need a lab for computers. And we need to go on more field trips. And teacher supplies. We just don't have the resources." In general, money for such necessities, she added, "comes out of our pockets."
The idea for the program came before the start of last year's season, when Arenas was brainstorming charity ideas with the Wizards' senior director for community relations, Sashia Jones. The session, Jones said, was classic Arenas: He wanted this charity idea to be "something nobody else had ever done," and he wanted it "big" and primed to "impact children."
At the end of the day, Arenas donated $62,000.

A quiet boy who had printed his question for Arenas in pencil on lined notebook paper asked, "What inspired you to start shooting for money?" "Because," the 6-foot-4 ball player answered gently, leaning forward toward the boy, who was about half of Arenas's height, "I always dreamed of a player doing it for my school."

Read the article at the Washington Post.

Photo: WPo


foxnomad said...

He really does act like a fan who's in the NBA... the last night of the post is classic.

Anonymous said...

Arenas is a great role model for young people, which can't be said for all of our professional athletes.

bgb staff said...

Hopefully he'll be a great role model not just for young people, but to other athletes as well (re: giving back).