76ers continue to engage community despite recent team scandal
After a week of controversy surrounding the Sixers front office, the team cut ties with GM Bryan Colangelo. The team scandal dominated headlines throughout the entirety of the NBA Finals. Most fans found themselves buried in the news regarding the Sixers and their GM. Not to mention the Finals seemed like a runner-up to the situation in Philly.
The 76ers have done as much as possible to distance themselves from the drama, accepting Colangelo’s resignation earlier this week. However, if the team cannot put the situation behind them, they risk losing potential free agents this offseason. While the team fixes their image, there are still many bright spots to be proud of.
Philadelphia hosts many different charities throughout the season, all for great causes. They boast more than 10 programs and awards of recognition. Turmoil in the front office is not enough to wash away the tremendous work the team does for the city of brotherly love.
Team scandal can’t take away from community impact
Philly does a tremendous amount of charity work throughout the season, highlighting the selfless nature of the players and organization. Stars and Stripes is a program which benefits veterans and current members of the armed forces. Throughout the holiday season, the Sixers partnered with Toyota to make more than 5,000 care packages for families.
Not only did the Sixers give back to the men and women who defend the country, they showed support for children with autism as well. This year marked the first autism awareness clinic hosted by the team. Head coach Brett Brown joined the awareness week by participating in a series of events aimed at helping those with autism learn new basketball skills. The team also hosted an autism awareness night, bringing the community together to end the stigma surrounding autism.
Point guard T.J. McConnell played a major role in charities this year as well. For every assist made by the Arizona guard, the team donated $7.76 to the Sixers Youth Foundation. While McConnell matched every donation dollar per dollar. Talk about an assist for the community! The team also participates in Fit 76, a series of programs dedicated to teaching children healthy lifestyles. In just 76 minutes, children will learn the value of physical activity and healthy eating habits to maintain a positive lifestyle.
The 76ers made a splash in the community with their Autism Awareness night:
As part of Autism Awareness Night, the 76ers celebrated local leaders who are making significant strides toward achieving inclusion for youth and young adults with autism spectrum disorders. https://t.co/G23REz0gte #autism #autismawareness pic.twitter.com/ArhkrMW0Ux
— New Horizons ProfABA (@NewHorizonsABA) April 24, 2018
Stars and Stripes is an ongoing initiative for the team, benefiting veterans and their families:
Sixers and Toyota Tip-Off Season Long "Stars and Stripes" Initiatives: PHILADELPHIA 76ERS AND TOYOTA TIP-OFF … https://t.co/Bd0iHhKWK3
— Milan Kadovic (@kdvcm) November 10, 2015
Trust the community, trust the process
A major team scandal is not enough to break the focus of the Sixers. Throughout the season they have proven their dedication to the community. Despite the recent controversy, Philly has a lot to be grateful for. Not many teams in the league have the community presence that the 76ers do.
McConnell is even willing to give up money from his own paycheck to see children succeed. Surely, players and organizations like this put their community above all else. The Philly community benefits from the selflessness of the team, and the team benefits from the embrace around the city.
Players entering free agency should ‘trust the process’ and all the great things the team does each season. Although a major team scandal has dominated NBA headlines, the impact the team has on the community is far greater than any number of fake Twitter accounts.
Featured Image: Keith Allison via Flickr
Charity information via NBA.com
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