SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Former Ohio State basketball player Mike Conley has donated $200,000 to help communities that helped shape him in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The current Utah Jazz guard's donation will address "will address food insecurity, homelessness and remote learning needs exacerbated by COVID-19," according to a release from the team.
The donation will be distributed among the Utah Food Bank in Salt Lake City, CodeCrew in Memphis, Tennessee; Community Shelter Board and the Columbus Urban League in Columbus, Ohio; the Indianapolis Public Schools Foundation in Indianapolis; and the New Haven Missionary Baptist Church in West Helena, Arkansas.
“Giving back and helping others is very important to me. The COVID-19 crisis has allowed me to slow down and appreciate who I am and where I am in life,” Conley said in a news release. “It has reminded me that I am in this position because of the support and sacrifices of others I’ve encountered all along the way. I wanted to be there for the communities that have been fundamental to my personal growth and are now suffering due to the effects of this pandemic. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them."
The former Ohio State player's money will help the Community Shelter Board in Columbus by providing masks for every staff member and client in the homeless system and provide critically important personal protective equipment for staff working in isolation and quarantine shelters for those experiencing homelessness and infected with COVID-19.
The money will also help the Columbus Urban League in its mission to create hope and opportunity for the nearly 40,000 African American and disadvantaged urban families it touches every year.
In partnership with the Community of Caring Development Foundation, the donation will help the Columbus Urban League meet the basic food needs of the nearly 350 families whose children have been a part of its outreach programs this past year.
Conley’s donation is aligned with the “Acts of Caring” platform of NBA Together and aims to harness the reach of the NBA and its partners to support those most impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19.
Conley won the NBA HORSE Challenge last month, which included a donation from State Farm of more than $200,000 on behalf of the participants to charities focused on coronavirus response efforts.