5 NBA Players Team up to Raise over $27,560 for the Waterboys Initiative.
In 2015, Super Bowl Champion Chris Long started the Waterboys initiative after his first climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. An appreciation for the natural beauty of the region and visits to local communities gave Long the passion to use his platform as an NFL player and help bring clean water to the villages he visited.
Meanwhile, 2017 NBA Rookie of the Year and fellow UVA Alum Malcolm Brogdon had long developed a passion for helping underprivileged regions. As a youngster, he went on a three-week trip to Ghana with his family in Elementary School, which inspired philanthropic missions that started as far back as when he was at UVA. When he heard about Long’s foundation, he reached out to the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive end to see how he could get the NBA involved. Long was all for it.
“We realized I basically needed to start my own program like Waterboys, [which we did with] Hoops20, and cater it to NBA players,” Brogdon explained in avideo for the Milwaukee Bucks' Youtube channel. So Brogdon invited players to join the Hoops2O team and they partnered with Pledge It to launch the Ballin' for Buckets campaign.
“The Pledge It platform was a really fun and easy way for Malcolm and the rest of the players to connect with their fans and community. We were thrilled with how much money they earned for Waterboys in just its first season, and are looking forward to an even more successful program next year.” - Hoops2O rep.
Together with the Brooklyn Nets’ Joe Harris, Minnesota Timberwolves’ Anthony Tolliver, Memphis Grizzlies’ Garrett Temple, and Miami Heat’s Justin Anderson Ballin' for Buckets raised nearly $28,000 to benefit these Tanzanian communities in an effort to build a new water well. Brogdon, Harris, and Anderson were teammates at UVA, while veterans Tolliver and Temple answered the call from Brogdon as well.
“In a very simplified definition [the mission] is to bring clean water to rural villages and cities in Tanzania,” Brogdon said. The Bucks’ shooting guard visited the East African region and helped carry water to and from the nearest well—half a mile away from the village.
“It shows you what they’re going through every day, what a lot of women in Africa are going through every day, because it’s their job to get the water, it’s their job to hold the household together. Not only do you gain respect, you gain perspective, and it makes you want to help.”