Pau Gasol eyes a sizable donation (Doug Pensinger/ Getty).
The devastation suffered by the Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan this month has compelled various levels of response and aid from nations and organizations around the world. Not surprisingly, the NBA and its players union have been major contributors, donating a combined $500,000 to efforts focused on helping the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the disaster. As one particularly inspiring photo and years of devotion have proven, the Philippines loves basketball with a level of sustained passion unseen anywhere else in the world. The basketball world has decided to repay that support with necessary help.
Now, one of the NBA's most charitable players will make his own donation based on his performance Friday. As announced on the charity website CrowdRise.com, Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol will donate $1,000 for every point he scores during his team's home game against the Golden State Warriors (via Beyond the Buzzer):
Children are suffering in the Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan—the year's most powerful tropical storm—is the latest natural disaster to strike a country already reeling from monsoon flooding and a massive earthquake. These children desperately need shelter, clean water, medicine and nutrition.
I am helping UNICEF raise money for their efforts on the ground...I am pledging $1,000 for every point I score at theLakers game on Friday (November 22nd) to The U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Will you help too? Make a donation now (by clicking donate to this fundraiser) OR join me by pledging $1, $5, $10, $20, or however much you can, for every point that I score Friday night. If you join me in pledging per point, please send me a tweet to let me know. Together we can help make a difference for the children of the Philippines! Your generosity will help UNICEF provide access to lifesaving care and support to millions of children in the Philippines.
Based on Pau's Twitter feed, it appears that many fans have answered his call and made their own pledges for Friday's game. As a UNICEF ambassador, Gasol is no stranger to these types of efforts, but it's nice to see him organizing something for such an important cause.
The worry, I suppose, is that Pau could have an exceedingly poor game against the Warriors on Friday. Through his first 12 games of the season, Gasol is averaging a relatively low 13.0 ppg, which would rank as the worst average of his career over a full season. Any charity that ties donations to performance is a risky venture, because a bad game could result in a less-than-ideal total donation. The upside, of course, is that Gasol could go for 35 points and end up with a huge contribution to typhoon relief.
Visit the CrowdRise page to make your own pledge for Gasol's drive.
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