Kaleb Canales, Nicolas Batum and Hasheem Thabeet all know they're lucky to coach/play basketball for a living. And it's a comfortable living at that. But they also know that not everyone has it so good, which is why they run or finance charitable works in the places they call home in the offseason.
Batum works to provide assistance to mothers and their newborn children in Africa through is Foundation Batum organization, Thabeet is currently helping to build a library while also working with his mother to help numerous orphanages, both his native Tanzania and Canales puts on numerous basketball camps every year in Laredo, Texas. And both Thabeet and Canales have participated in the NBA's Basketball Without Borders program in Africa and Brazil, respectively.
"We have a chance to live a good life because of our profession. We play basketball, we play it well and we have a chance to do the things we want to do," said Batum. "A lot of people in the world, they don't have that chance. They can't do what they want; they have to do something else. Sometimes they have no jobs at all. It's big for us, giving back, because we have a chance to help people reach their dreams."
And though many of their charitable efforts benefit people and organizations outside of Portland, they still make time to help those in need in Rip City. They'll do that Thursday by hosting a silent auction at The Nines Hotel Thursday night. Tickets to the event can be purchased here
All funds from tickets purchased and silent auction revenue will benefit at-risk youth from Rosemary Anderson High School
, as well as the make it better foundation
. The Rosemary Anderson High School is a Portland community-based alternative high school. The school enrolls over 160 students annually, all of whom are at-risk students, some homeless, have either been expelled or dropped out of public high school.
Aside from the silent auction, those attending the even will have the opportunity to get autographs and ask questions of Canales, Batum and Thabeet.