As dedicated college athletes, the members of Athletes CARE strive to be just like Bismack Biyombo, basketball center for the Charlotte Hornets. This inspiration isn’t solely derived from his status as an NBA athlete, but because of a recent story released about his charitable deeds. Last Tuesday, Biyombo encountered a homeless man on the streets of Chicago, shivering in below freezing temperatures. Biyombo took the man’s safety into his own hands. He brought his new friend, Asne, to a restaurant for a bowl of soup and a conversation about their shared love for reading. Biyombo even invited his friend to join them, and made plans to meet up with Asne again. Biyombo was shocked when the employees of the restaurant questioned whether they would be able to pay for their meals. After their meal, Biyombo admitted he was not just a 6’9” stranger, but an NBA player. Asne said, “Oh my God! An NBA player sitting down with me when I smell so bad!”
All three of the new friends said they had a lot of fun, and Biyombo’s mother summed up the experience well, saying “So often when people can afford it they forget about those who can’t. Don’t ever forget that feeling”.
Athletes CARE’s mission is concerned with exactly this idea. Whether volunteering our time at schools or raising money for local shelters, we work to give when we can. We strive to keep those in need on our minds, and not forget the hungry, needy, or homeless. We hope to inspire more than just athleticism in our surrounding communities, but kindness and compassion. As athletes, we share a unique ability with Biyombo. We have an ability to use our teams, talents, and the attention of our fans to make changes. There is no better way than leading by example, as Biyombo did last Tuesday, with just a simple bowl of soup.