A Message from Tom Hoover
President, Legends of Basketball NYC Chapter
We believe our mission in life is to help our fellow man whenever and wherever possible. With that in mind, the various chapters of the NBRPA - and especially our New York Chapter - have launched a series of programs designed to provide help where it is needed most.
We commit our time, names, energy, expertise, and patience in an ongoing effort to make an everyday difference for those who are less fortunate. When our own members need help, we negotiate benefits giving those who are uninsured vital access to healthcare and coverage. In communities close to home, we stock food pantries every week, organize holiday parties, and make our presence and our compassion known at domestic violence shelters, AIDS treatment facilities, homeless shelters, youth centers, parks, and school graduations. The same discipline and determination that allowed us to excel on the basketball court has translated into our more important mission in life.
When several chapter members participated in basketball clinics in Africa, we visited communities that were new to us. We didn't know these people before that trip, but we could see they needed our help. In our homes, we take the clean water that comes from the tap for granted and we expect our children to get a good education. Our new friends in several African villages carry 40 gallon jugs five miles just to fill them with dirty water. They pack 100 students into two rooms that are the size of our closets. They don't have enough desks, books, or pencils meaning that - even though these hungry, tired and thirsty children want to learn - their teachers lack the ability to properly educate. So with our meager resources we bought whatever school supplies we could and made a terrible situation just a little bit better. Amazingly, these same children welcomed us with open arms and found joy in our company, our guidance, and the little things we could provide for them.
We have no intention of backing off the important work we do at home, but we immediately knew we had work to do in Africa as well. For that reason, the New York Chapter is spearheading a project to get clean water to our new friends in Senegal and Mali along with our existing programs from Red Hook to Sandy Hook.
We are the Legends of Basketball and this is how we give back. Our friends at The Herbert M. Citrin Foundation have given us a tremendous opportunity to further our work. We will salute their mission and recognize their generosity by turning out in force on June 11th led by Oscar Robertson; NBRPA co-founder and one of the most respected men in the business of sports. Our members are looking forward to meeting each of you in person and thanking you for helping us to save lives and to enrich lives. As I wrote earlier, we believe our mission in life is to help our fellow man. We are on that mission ... from New York to Africa and wherever else we are needed. We hope you will join us.