Following his breakout rookie season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kyle Kuzma has used his new platform to promote things bigger than basketball, specifically with children in his hometown of Flint, Michigan and his new home, Los Angeles.
First, on Monday, Kuzma announced the National Basketball Players Association’s (NBPA) partnership with the LA84 Foundation to issue a request for proposal (RFP) to refurbish local basketball courts throughout the Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
The “Court Refurbishment Program” is hoping to create “safe and fun spaces” for kids ages 6 through 17 to play basketball. The NBPA Foundation has already committed a total of $150,000 of grant funding to improve courts in the greater Los Angeles area, according to a press release.
“I am happy to be a part of this announcement and to let people know about the opportunity to improve their local basketball courts with the help of the NBPA Foundation and the LA84 Foundation,” Kuzma said in the press release.
The NBPA featured the 22-year-old in their announcement video, posted on the NBPA’s official Twitter account and LA84’s website:
The LA84 Foundation has committed themselves to supporting youth sports programs for over 30 years with an emphasis on equal opportunity in sports. They will manage the grant process and distribution of program funds to local organizations throughout the Los Angeles area.
Then on Wednesday, The Players’ Tribune released a video of their own highlighting the work Kuzma has done with the YMCA of Greater Flint, where Kuzma used to play basketball with his friends “until they got the lights turned off” on them, according to YCMA of Flint director Shelly McArthur.
Flint, Michigan raised him. Nights at the @YMCA_of_Flint turned him into the basketball player he is today.@kylekuzma on why he gives back to his hometown. #TakeAction (with @amfam) pic.twitter.com/rB9dpiUQ5J— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) June 13, 2018
This past Christmas, Kuzma threw a party for the kids that are part of the ”Safe Places Program,” where he gave away backpacks and headphones, among other things. He also made a sizable equipment donation to the YCMA to cover any needs the facility had.
While Kuzma justifiably gets teased for going Hollywood upon his arrival to Los Angeles, it’s clear he has a deep-rooted love for both the city he grew up and his new home in L.A. For an organization looking for high character young men, Kuzma’s charity work indicates he fits the bill.
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