Sometimes things happen, and you just know that God is in it. I had one of those moments a little over a month ago. I opened my email and read an email from a manager whose player wanted to partner with Per Diems Against Poverty. I have received similar emails before, but this one was different. I knew that this partnership would be something special, something different. I scheduled a call with his manager and without question, this pro athlete committed to advocate on behalf of Per Diems Against Poverty and donate the per diems he would receive while on the road playing professional basketball. Without knowing the amount, or even if he would receive a per diem for his meals this season, Rashad McCants committed to a generous donation for each game this season (10 games total).
Rashad McCants signed on for the inaugural season of BIG3 professional basketball, and not unlike Per Diems Against Poverty, this league is new and innovative. Rashad is willing to think outside of the box and try something different, which I find inspiring and refreshing. He was an all-star at North Carolina before he was chosen 14th overall in the 2005 NBA draft. His career has taken him to different teams and countries along the way, and now he’s tackling a brand new challenge- BIG3 3x3 basketball league (founded by the legendary Ice Cube). Rashad has worked hard for what he calls his “resurrection as a player and as a person,” he told DIME magazine in a recent article. He expressed his excitement and gratefulness for this opportunity to continue his career in professional sports.
More importantly, Rashad is dedicated to becoming even more involved with the community and try to give back in every way possible. In years past, he was known to give his paychecks from games to charities and spend time helping children and teens in need. He even established a new foundation called the ‘Heroes Foundation,’ which seeks to give financial support to up-and-coming artists, athletes, writers, and producers, along with the accessibility to be seen, heard, and appreciated. He wants to help aspiring youth reach their goals and achieve their full potentials.
I am excited and humbled that Rashad has chosen to partner with Per Diems Against Poverty during his new endeavor and cannot wait to see the number of families we are able to help as a result. As a result of his donations alone, we will be able to provide thousands of meals for American families struggling with hunger. He is also actively trying to get other players to do the same and to obtain corporate sponsors who will match his donations, which could amplify his giving dramatically. I am energized by Rashad's passion and determination to give back to his community and look forward to working with him and his camp in the coming months and hopefully beyond.
If you want to check out BIG3 basketball, the league kicks off today @ 1 p.m. EST at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY. The BIG3 will feature superstar players including Allen Iverson, Chauncey Billups, Jermaine O'Neal, Kenyon Martin, Mike Bibby, Rashard Lewis, Jason Williams, Stephen Jackson, Bonzi Wells, Corey Magette, Al Harrington, Ricky Davis Dermarr Johnson and dozens more! Each date features a tournament style event with each of the 8 teams competing in 4 fast paced, physical games and an incredible halftime show! Founded by the legendary Ice Cube and entertainment executive, Jeff Kwatinetz, with Roger Mason Jr. serving as President and Commissioner.