Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs took part in a major charitable donation for children in the local school district.
The intrinsic values of the San Antonio Spurs organization are founded on the idea that a player’s responsibilities extend off the court to the world around them. Head coach Gregg Popovich is notoriously outspoken about pressing issues in U.S. politics and the world around us.
Pop’s ideology is that selflessness off the court equates to a stronger locker room and better on-court product; which resulted in a 20-year playoff streak and five world championships.
With the holiday season in full swing, Popovich took it upon himself to provide the students of Pershing Elementary of the San Antonio School District with new shoes in cooperation with the charitable organization Shoes That Fit. Roughly 500 students were gifted with athletic sneakers fit to the exact measurement of their feet as part of the initiative.
Earlier today, Coach Popovich and Derrick White spread Christmas cheer at Pershing Elementary by donating kicks to every student through Shoes That Fit. ?#SeasonOfGiving | #NBACares pic.twitter.com/TWiGYaAGst
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 10, 2018
Many fans, and players for that matter, haven’t been exposed to the issues addressed by Shoes That Fit. Plenty of underprivileged children are forced into footwear that either doesn’t fit or is worn down. The growth of a child is rapid and the expense of replacing shoes adds up for low-income families.
Popovich brought sophomore combo guard Derrick White along with him to meet and greet the children as they received their new kicks. In an interview with Jeff Garcia of News4SA.com, White spoke on the way Popovich’s selflessness has impact him.
“You see him (Popovich) doing things, you see the faces of the people he helps, you just want to help as much as you can give back to the community,” White said.
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For as much as he teaches his players through direct conversation, Popovich also leads the Spurs by example. As a coach, Pop has put together an unmatched resume with the accolades to back up his position in the all-time rankings. As a person, he has shown his disciples the importance of using their platform to promote positive change.
By instilling these values in his players over the course of his run in San Antonio, Popovich set a tone regarding the quality of the athletes that he recruits. Showing the rest of the league that San Antonio is a place where players can be themselves, make the world a better place and compete at the highest level is why the Alamo City remains prevalent in the landscape of the NBA. This is also a major reason why San Antonio appeals to veteran free agents such like Rudy Gay and Pau Gasol who’ve signed in recent years.
To learn more about Shoes That Fit and how you can lend a hand, visit their website here.
It’s been an odd year on the court for the Spurs but off the court, the foundational principals of the organization remain firm.