Basketball Legends: Taking Care Of Their Own
Score another great event for the Hochster!
Yeah, it was fun. Mohegan Sun in Connecticut on Saturday April 26. Diane and I attended the Legends of Basketball Awards Gala. It was put on by the National Basketball Retired Players Association. Yeah, that’s a thing.
Their idea is beautiful. There are so many professional players who didn’t benefit from the riches we read about all over the news. For every multimillion dollar contract, there are plenty of players struggling to get by. Bad choices, or drugs, or illness, or just not having the financial education to make it in the world outside pro sports.
Two other things I really liked about this…
1. The charity doesn’t limit itself to the NBA. They also include players from the WNBA and the Harlem Globetrotters, neither of whom ever got the huge deals and endorsements that go along with them.
2. There are all kinds of other charitable causes that go along with them. They care for sick kids, build hospitals, empower communities and do so many life affirming things. They truly give back to the communities that enriched and supported them. (Are you listening, Donald Sterling?)
So getting the invitation was a thrill. I have always been interested in empowering those who follow in my footsteps, especially since so many have supported me along the journey!
So…if a picture says a thousand words…here are several thousand to play with!
Look closely. That’s some list of basketball dignitaries!
Color Guard from the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, just a few miles down the road. They brought the colors during the National Anthem. Still love that to this day.
Diggin’ the black tie!
Diane looked kinda good too! She’s holding one of the programs with Nancy Lieberman, maybe the first true female basketball superstar.
Basketball Hall of Famer Chamique Holdsclaw. She was honoring Tennessee coach Pat Summit was the Courage Award.
Former University of Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun, accepting the Community Award.
The one and only Darryl Dawkins, a.k.a. Chocolate Thunder. I’m about five feet ten inches, so do the math!
For a donation to the foundation, we got to pick out a gift basket. This one looked cool. Great jazz stuff, plus lots of edibles and gift certificates to great local restaurants.
Bond. James Bond. The martini was strong enough so that my survival instinct kicked in and I stopped drinking after three sips. Olives were great though!
Dinner was OK. Dessert was a lot better!
And that, my friends was an awesome night of memories, fun and paying it forward! We don’t need elite athletes to create that. But it’s fun when we do!
Got any great memories of basketball or other sports from the past? Did you watch Chocolate Thunder shatter backboards back in the day, like I did? Share some memories, or let us know how you pay your good fortune forward!