GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Drive cannot currently be an escape for its fans on the court, but the organization still wants to help.
"It is always important to show willingness to give back to the community," GR Drive co-owner and 2004 NBA Champion with the Pistons Ben Wallace said. "Right now the community need us and we need to be there to reach out and make sure everybody is doing the right thing."
The Drive is donating a portion of the 2020-2021 ticket renewals to several West Michigan organizations aimed at helping those impacted by COVID-19 including their marquee partner The Children's Foundation.
"This is where it starts, it starts with the kids" Wallace said. "I have had a successful career playing basketball and now it is about giving back and trying to help some kids reach their ultimate goal whether they want to play basketball, lawyer, doctor or whatever. Let them know that they have the support from the community as well as the Drive."
The Children's Foundation grants money to organizations throughout the state. During the current pandemic their funds have provided food and helped with staffing.
The partnership with the Drive will increase their footprint in the West Michigan area.
"We continue to follow up with our partners to say what are you facing, how can we help you," Jill Nelson Director of Marketing and Communications at The Children's Foundation said. "Through this new initiative with Grand Rapids Drive we are going to be doing the same thing with organizations in Grand Rapids."
As for when we will see players back on the court, Big Ben is hopeful that the current season can resume at some point.
"At a time like this it could be something that everybody needs, something that everybody is looking forward to as well as the players," Wallace said. "The players enjoy being out there playing in front of the fans. If that can't happen maybe we can get the guys on TV so everybody can watch and check it out."
The NBA was originally scheduled to conclude its regular season on Wednesday.