WASHINGTON - Washington Wizards fans are hoping John Wall will one day help bring an NBA championship to the nation’s capital. The star point guard has provided a lot of assists during his five seasons with the Wizards. But his biggest assist this year actually came off the court.
“God gave me the ability and the talent to play basketball and do something I love,” said Wall. “But I think it’s more important and bigger to give back to the community and do certain things to show people you care.”
Last Friday, Wall donated $400,000 to Bright Beginnings, a preschool that provides education for homeless children in Washington D.C.
“You see homeless people already outside on the street and that’s tough to see because you’re always wondering how they got there, what happened,” Wall said. “But then when you see the little kids in the mix, I never want to see my child, whenever I have one, on the side of the street and have nowhere to sleep, not having anywhere to get an education.”
Two years ago, Wall signed a 5-year, $80 million contract extension with the Wizards. He pledged to give $1 million of that contract to charities in the District.
“One thing my mom always instilled in me was it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks of you as a basketball player,” Wall said at the news conference announcing his extension. “They’re always going to look at you as a person first.”
The 25-year-old is showing he cares about the people in his adopted home and he plans to be a part of the D.C. community for years to come.
“Raleigh is kind of where he’s from, but I think this is becoming home for him,” said Wizards head coach Randy Wittman. “It shows that he cares about the community and where he lives and that says a lot for a kid that age.”
The preschoolers at Bright Beginnings are too young to dribble a basketball, but they knew what Wall's visit meant to them.
“The kids run up on me like I was their parents, hugging me and stuff,” said Wall. “But they were young, so they don’t know what is happening and what I did -- only the people working there. It was just exciting to see the smiles on their faces.”