At the heart of the NBA season, James Harden reaches out to help off the court.
Through his Impact13 Foundation and with the support of generous sponsors, Harden’s initiative in Haiti includes a new basketball court and a significant collection of everyday essentials.
“Haiti is one of the poorest places in the world, so we wanted to see if we could influence the people there and make our mark,” Harden said. “We’ve just tried to give as much as we can to these kids because they need it, they deserve it, and we can be helpful in that way.”
Among the thousands of items were backpacks, socks, shoes, water bottles and basketballs from adidas, deodorant, shower gel and lotion from Art of Sport, and personal care products from Gopuff.
A new basketball court featuring the work of local artist Olivier A. Ganthier was also built in a collaboration between Harden and Foundation Barbancourt.
Earlier this season, Harden made a surprise visit to the opening ceremony of the newly named Brooklyn Nets Basketball Academy, presented by adidas. The 130 youth players in attendance each received a t-shirt and a ticket to a Nets game.
While the Nets were in Los Angeles in December, Harden visited his high school Artesia and announced several initiatives to support the school through his Impact13 Foundation, including renovations of weight rooms, locker rooms and an indoor basketball court; a $10,000 donation to support scholarships for deserving Artesia graduates; and his continued sponsorship of the school’s boys’ and girls’ basketball programs through adidas.
“Because of that, I’m here. I feel like that’s my goal. Things are going great on the pitch and off the pitch I can do things whenever I want, but mostly how I want,” Harden said. “Spreading that love and letting people who are struggling know that there is someone out there who has your back and is willing to help is very important to me.”