Patty Mills Partners With Portland Timbers To Assist Australia
By sarahhecht Posted in: PattyMills
Patty Mills is one of those guys who perseveres through adversity. A role model. From his tumultuous beginnings (he broke his foot the first day of rookie camp in the summer of 2009,) to fighting for a roster spot in his sophomore season and breaking out as Andre Miller’s backup, his will to follow his basketball dreams has grown stronger.
And that’s only his fight to play basketball.
In recent months, Mills has been on a mission to raise $50,000 to support relief efforts in Australia after expansive flooding in December of 2010 ravaged his homeland.
The Assist Australia campaign generates funds by selling t-shirts of Mills’ design. He’s got the special “Charity Stripe” tees in three color palates: red and white
to represent the Portland Trail Blazers, green and gold
for the Australian national team and navy and red
for his college St. Mary’s.
After months of grassroots efforts and countless appearances and autograph signings, Mills’ goal is within reach.
“Eight thousand to go,” said Mills. “I know we just passed forty [thousand] a few appearances ago. And since then we’ve done a few at Just Sports. So we’re getting closer.”
Mills’ efforts took a new twist on Saturday when he partnered with the Portland Timbers FC to design a new shirt for Timbers fans. The “Stand Together” tee
sports the Timbers Army signature words as well as half a soccer pitch and half a basketball court. And of course the Timbers axe.
The Timbers approached Wears My Shirt?, the company helping Mills with the campaign, with the idea of uniting Timbers and Trail Blazers fans in a common cause.
“They actually came to me, not me, but Wears My Shirt, and said ‘Let’s kinda do something together and kinda join Blazers and Timbers together,’” Mills said. “Shot a little commercial that you’ve see, that was a fun little deal. I’m a big Timbers fan.”
Watch the commercial, it’s a goodie.
The last few months have served a dual purpose for Mills, who loves to engage with Trail Blazers fans through multiple mediums, most notably Twitter. He’s been able to meet new fans and support his country.
“Although we’re trying to reach our $50,000 dollar goal I think it’s turned more into opportunities to hang out with people in Portland. I think that’s been the cool thing about it,” said Mills.
As Mills heads home to spend the summer with his national team he’s taking the Assist Australia campaign with him. Aussies want their chance to nab the sweet tees and autographs while supporting flood relief too.
“You know we’ve raised money just from the States alone and we haven’t even hit in Australia yet so I think there’s an opportunity to go back there and do the same stuff out there and I think we’ll just get more,” Mills said. “People have been saying ‘Oh, when you coming to Australia to do the same sort of stuff?’ It’s our turn kind of thing so I think there will be a good opportunity when I go home to do the same stuff.”
From Portland, to St. Mary’s, to the Timbers and back home to Australia Patty Mills’ commitment and continual efforts to support his cause are an inspiration.