Portland Trail Blazers players Wesley Matthews and Robin Lopez along with former NBA Coach of the Year Avery Johnson are set to travel to Manila, Philippines on Sept. 12 to help in relief efforts for victims of Typhoon Yolanda.
Portland Trail Blazers players Wesley Matthews and Robin Lopez are all set for their trip to the Philippines as part of relief efforts for victims of Typhoon Yolanda.
Former NBA Coach of the Year Avery Johnson will also go with Matthews and Lopez to Tacloban City -- the hardest-hit part of the country -- per an official press release on the Blazers' official website:
"NBA players Robin Lopez and Wesley Matthews of the Portland Trail Blazers, along with NBA legend Avery Johnson, will travel to Tacloban on September 12, 2014 to help communities affected by Typhoon Yolanda, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and World Vision Philippines announced today. Lopez, Matthews and Johnson will support the NBA's ongoing commitment to help children and families affected by the disaster rebuild their lives by constructing temporary shelters and conducting basketball clinics for the local children.
"'Typhoon Yolanda caused sweeping destruction on a national scale, and those who were most impacted are still coping with its devastation months after,' said Carlo Singson, NBA Country Manager, Philippines. 'The residents of Tacloban City are one such group, and we support World Vision Philippines' tireless efforts to help the city and its communities rebuild. We hope our visit will help lift the spirits of the people of Tacloban as the city continues its road to recovery.'
"'The NBA has assisted World Vision's emergency responses in the past, and we are grateful for the continued support,' said Josias T. dela Cruz, executive director World Vision Development Foundation. 'We are happy to host the upcoming visit of Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews and Avery Johnson to Tacloban, and our community partners, especially the basketball-loving children, will be delighted to meet with the NBA players in what we trust will be a fun and meaningful exchange for both the NBA visitors and the local community.'
"The NBA family has contributed more than $2.2 million in support of Typhoon Yolanda relief efforts, including a $250,000 contribution to World Vision in November 2013 by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). In November 2013, the 2013 Jr. NBA Philippines All-Stars visited Los Angeles as part of their NBA Experience trip and -- on behalf of the Philippines Red Cross -- accepted a $150,000 contribution by the Los Angeles Lakers, which was presented by Lakers star Kobe Bryant at center court of the Staples Center.
"In August 2014, the NBA partnered with the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines to bring NBA legend Derrick Alston and WNBA legend Allison Feaster to the Philippines to participate in sports diplomacy activities. The envoys visited disaster-hit Leyte and Tacloban City to donate books and basketballs and participated in school construction and tree planting."
Lopez continues his relief efforts this year. On Sept. 4, he helped distribute backpacks filled with school supplies to a school in the North Portland area, notes The Oregonian's Randy L. Rasmussen:
"Robin Lopez, center for the Portland Trail Blazers, joined employees of Knowledge Universe at Beach Elementary School in North Portland where students met Lopez at an assembly and were given backpacks filled with school supplies.
"About 250 employees from Knowledge Universe, wearing t-shirts saying 'March to Beach,' took MAX to a North Portland stop on Interstate Avenue Thursday morning and then marched several blocks to the school.
"They and the students packed the gymnasium to listen to several speakers, including Knowledge Universe CEO Tom Wyatt and city commissioner Nick Fish, before Lopez (who had been peeking in from just outside a door) bounded in with Blazers' mascot, Blaze, to cheers and applause.
"Not without some difficulty, Lopez was fitted with his own backpack. He later joined third graders in a classroom where he used a sharpie to write 'Robin L.' on his backpack and they all inspected the contents of their new backpacks.
"This is the seventh year that Knowledge Universe, partnering with Schoolhouse Supplies, has supported the school with supplies."
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