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Kyrie Irving Donates To Jackson, Mississippi, Sports Complex

Kyrie Irving donated an undisclosed sum to The Ark, a sports complex located in Jackson, Mississippi.

Kyrie Irving continues to put his money toward causes that connect with him.

According to WLBT, the Dallas Mavericks guard donated an undisclosed sum to The Ark, a sports complex in Jackson, Mississippi. As The Ark’s founder, Ronnie Crudup Jr., told WBLT, “For someone of that magnitude, Kyrie Irving, he’s one of the top players in the NBA. For him to send us some resources [for this] court, I think people see that, You know what, something that we do here, it does matter.”

A coach at the facility, Charles Lewis, reflected on what it could mean for the kids who come play basketball at the facility.

“It’s major,” Lewis told. “And hopefully, this inspires kids to know that somebody’s watching you. A lot of times, kids are thinking, ‘You know, I’m not being recruited. I’m not being looked at.’ But yeah, somebody’s watching. So I hope that it makes them excited.”

The money will be used to build an additional basketball court at the facility. The court will be completed by January 2024.

While the city of Jackson was going through its highly publicized water crisis in 2020, Irving said it was happening due to deliberate decisions made by those in power in Mississippi. “What’s going on now in Jackson, Mississippi — a lot of stuff is blatant,” he said on Twitch, according to New York magazine.

On Nov. 20, Irving appeared at a post-game press conference wearing a keffiyeh, a scarf popular in Middle Eastern countries that has come to represent solidarity with Palestinians. Irving did not say why he wore the scarf during the press conference, nor was he asked about it, as the press had previously hounded him for posting a link to a documentary that many described as anti-Semitic.

In 2021, Irving discussed how he felt about the turmoil in Gaza during a press conference, telling reporters that it bothered him deeply to see people discriminated against because of the color of their skin or religious beliefs.

Closer to home, Irving donated $50,000 to the GoFundMe campaign of Mari Copeny, who has expanded her organizing efforts for clean water to encompass communities across the country currently living with substandard water access. In February, Irving gave $22,000 to Valencia Andrews for a herb farm she planned on starting. His donation covered double what she was initially seeking.

In March, Irving donated $45,000 toward an orphanage being built in Ghana; the orphanage plans on building a basketball court named in honor of their benefactor.  

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