Oklahoma City Thunder forward Reggie Jackson is known for his athletic ability, but he also loves the attention he gets for his charitable efforts.
In the months leading up to the NBA Draft, Jackson and his wife, Kristy, launched the Reggie and Kristy Jackson Foundation, which aims to raise awareness for the needs of underserved children and families in Oklahoma City.
The foundation is a partnership between the couple and Thunder players, coaches, players’ representatives, and community leaders, including local charities like the Tulsa Community College District.
In order to give back to the community, the foundation operates two charitable leagues, the Oklahoma Basketball Community League and the Tulsa Youth Basketball League, which are run by members of the Thunder’s community.
The team has a history of giving back to their community, and in fact, the Thunder have a charitable arm that raises money for youth basketball programs in the community.
“We wanted to bring something to our community,” Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said.
“We just wanted to help people.”
In addition to the Reggie Jackson Foundation’s two league leagues, Westbrook and the Thunder also run the Oklahoma Youth Basketball Association, which is run by Thunder players and coaches.
The youth league is run as a partnership with the Thunder, which helps them get access to the youth league to teach them how to play basketball.
“It’s a great way for us to build a foundation,” Brooks said of the youth basketball league.
“You get to play games with the kids in Tulsa, and we can get them to play at the [Oklahoma] Senior Basketball League.”
The Thunder’s youth league has also been instrumental in helping the youth community.
The Thunder recently hosted a charity game, hosted by the local youth basketball program, which raised over $200,000 for Tulsa Children’s Hospital.
“It was a great opportunity for the Thunder,” Brooks explained.
“The kids played at the Senior Basketball league, and they played a game and got a lot of love from the players.
That’s a pretty cool way to help kids.”
The Oklahoma Youth basketball league has been in existence since 2009, and the league has grown to more than 1,500 teams since then.
According to the league’s website, its mission is to “provide safe, healthy and social basketball opportunities to children in underserved communities, including Tulsa.”
According to the Thunder and the youth leagues website, the league also works to build connections with community leaders in Tulsa.
“The Thunder Youth League is excited to partner with the Oklahoma Community College district to develop a partnership to host an annual fundraiser benefiting Tulsa Community Schools,” the Thunder said in a statement.
“With the Thunder Youth Basketball program, the program is able to help build a greater impact and awareness in the local community.”
In terms of player contributions, Westbrook has been instrumental for the youth in Oklahoma.
He has made numerous appearances and given talks on the youth-athletes’ role in the city, which has a high percentage of children living in poverty.
The Thunder and Westbrook have been in contact with the Tulsa Police Department in order to help them with the community outreach efforts.
“We have a lot in common with the police department,” Westbrook said.
A lot of our friends are there to help us out, and I just want to make sure that they know how much I appreciate their support.
As Westbrook and Kristina, his wife of six years, continue to work on the Thunder Foundation’s philanthropic efforts, their basketball career has also taken a drastic turn.
Last June, Kristina passed away from an illness, and her husband decided to turn his passion for basketball into a full-time career.
While his focus remains on the NBA, the two have also worked on their children’s basketball program at Tulsa Community School District.
When asked about the decision to focus on the children, Kristyn Jackson explained, “We don’t really think about basketball, we just think about the kids.
I want them to know that we’re there to give them hope and give them a future.”