Rockets host Thanksgiving charity events to give back to Houston

Between Sunday’s home game against Golden State and Friday’s tilt versus Atlanta, the Rockets have a rare break during the 2022-23 NBA season of four consecutive days without a game. They’ve also been able to stay in Houston for the entire time, since they’re currently in the middle of a four-game homestand at Toyota Center.

Because that break happened to coincide with the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s also presented the franchise and several of its players with an opportunity to give back to the Houston community.

“It means a lot,” said head coach Stephen Silas, as relayed by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. He continued:

One of my messages to the guys was, ‘How blessed are we to be out here for practice, and there are people lining up around the building just trying to get a free meal for Thanksgiving. And the blessing that we have, we have to pass along.’

I love that we have guys… going to the organization saying, ‘I want to help,’ and ‘I want to do something.’ We got really, really good guys. They’re young but they have a sense of self and a sense of giving and they know what’s important. It’s really good to see young people do that because the perception of young people is ‘me, me, me and I, I, I.’ We have a bunch of people who are selfless and give to each other and give to others.

Scroll on for details and highlights from many of those Thanksgiving events. The Rockets return to basketball with Friday’s home game versus Atlanta, with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m. Central.

Turkey Distribution at Toyota Center

The Rockets, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson’s G-Unity Foundation, and Kroger partnered for a turkey distribution at Toyota Center on Tuesday, Nov. 22. Rockets and G-Unity Foundation staff helped distribute 1,000 turkeys and Thanksgiving meals to those in need.

The event, which featured an appearance by Jackson, was open to the public in a drive-up format. Turkeys were distributed on a first come, first serve basis, with a limit of one Thanksgiving meal per vehicle. The meal includes food items donated by the G-Unity Foundation, Kroger, and Spec’s in addition to a ticket voucher to an upcoming Rockets home game. With supplies limited to the first 1,000 vehicles, only families in need are encouraged to participate.

As part of a partnership between Jackson and the Rockets, his G-Unity Foundation and the team’s Clutch City Foundation are working together to help impact numerous community initiatives.

KJ Martin Thanksgiving Event

On Thursday, Nov. 17, Rockets forward KJ Martin hosted a Thanksgiving event for 50 young boys from the Urban Enrichment Institute. While ther,e Martin and Rockets staff distributed gifts to children while providing Thanksgiving groceries for their families.

The Urban Enrichment Institute, in Houston’s Fifth Ward, works to empower boys to become responsible men and productive members of their families and community. UEI’s core program, ‘The School-Based Projects,’ is housed in five schools in the Houston Independent School District’s Northeast District and provides site coordinators who monitor school activities, interact with teachers and administrators, and help schedule after-school activities.

Jalen Green Thanksgiving Event

On Saturday, Nov. 19, Rockets guard Jalen Green hosted a Thanksgiving meal for teens and young adults who are living at Covenant House Texas.  Last year, Green hosted a similar event for a group of teenagers at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston.

Covenant House Texas, which is located in Houston, provides shelter for homeless, abused, and abandoned youth from ages 18-24. They offer a care model for homeless youth including mental health and substance abuse counseling, educational and vocational training, transitional and permanent living programs, street outreach and prevention, pastoral ministry, and parenting classes in addition to providing the basic necessities of food, clothing, medical care, and safe shelter from the streets for youth in crisis.

Jae’Sean Tate Basketball Clinic

On Monday, Nov. 21, Rockets forward Jae’Sean Tate partnered with Shoot 360 to host a basketball clinic for a group of children with autism and special needs from the Be A 9th Wonder Foundation.

The Be A 9th Wonder Foundation, which was founded by former basketball player and native Houstonian Remi Yusuf, specializes in mentoring youth by way of sports skill development — all while providing life skills workshops to prepare them for adulthood.

Shoot 360 is a technology-based basketball training center in northwest Houston.

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Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire