Bradley Beal, Monumental Basketball hold Thanksgiving meal giveaway

Beal, Monumental hold Thanksgiving meal giveaway originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

WASHINGTON -- On a blustery Saturday afternoon, just blocks away from their practice facility in Ward 8, the Wizards, Mystics and Go-Go lined the main hallway of the R.I.S.E. Demonstration center with tables featuring food from Henry's Soul Cafe and household supplies. Players from all of Monumental Basketball's teams greeted locals as they walked through, with Anthony Gill and Jordan Goodwin handing out Giant grocery gift cards at the end of the line.

The event was hosted by Bradley Beal and Monumental Basketball, in partnership with CareFirst, with the goal of making the Thanksgiving holiday a little bit easier for those in need.

"It's tough for a lot of families to be able to come up with the funds and all the right necessities for them to have a successful holiday season," Beal said. "This is always the most important time of the year to give back. They give their last check, they give every single thing they can provide to make sure the holidays are special. This just tries to lighten the load a bit."

Also on hand were Wizards players Monte Morris and Daniel Gafford, Mystics players Natasha Cloud and Myisha Hines-Allen, executives from both teams plus members of Wizards District Gaming. Beal also brought two of his young sons to lend a helping hand.

Beal explained the importance of doing so when he addressed the media.

"I was just trying to tell them there's people in the world that don't have the opportunity to have a hot meal, that don't have the opportunity to have warm clothes, people that don't have the opportunity to have a house or a roof over their head. Their life is extremely blessed and we're going to go help out a lot of people," Beal said.

"That was kind of my message to them. They were very happy and excited about it, so I was happy they were willing to come with me today. It's like a little example to them that life is precious and when you're blessed, it's your duty to be a blessing to others. That's all we're trying to do today."

Beal remarked how it was important to give back specifically to the community surrounding the Wizards' facility in Southeast Washington. Not only is Congress Heights one of the most underserved parts of the D.C. area, Beal feels the team has a responsibility to thank the locals for allowing them to have their headquarters near where they live.

"The biggest thing is trying to be impactful, showing our faces, and showing that we care and appreciate their support for allowing us to be right here in their backyard," Beal said.

A total of $25,000 worth of Giant gift cards and 2,000 meals were provided at the event. There was also clothing provided by Gafford and his wife, plus a cookie truck arranged by Morris.

Beal and the Wizards will be on the road for Thanksgiving. They play at the Miami Heat both the day before and the day after the holiday.

The team will have dinner and celebrate the holiday together. Beal is looking forward to one dish in particular.

"Mac-n-cheese. I don't eat everybody's mac-n-cheese, though. You've gotta know what you're doing in the kitchen," he said.