In our society we tend to let the bad outweigh the good. We feed off negative stories instead of embracing the positive stories that are out there.
This is the case with Gilbert Arenas, who has been defined by his locker room incident with his teammate Javaris Crittenton, where guns were shown after a dispute. Although the gun incident is what he is most remembered for now, Arenas has done some exceptional things throughout his time as a professional off of the court. Here are 5 Good Deeds From Gilbert Arenas.
1. He donated several thousands of dollars to Washington D.C. schools
While a member of the Washington Wizards, Arenas donated at least $400,000 to several schools in the D.C. area via his Scores For Schools Program. It was a very simple concept. 41 schools were randomly selected (one school for every home game on the schedule) and given 25 tickets to the game. In addition to the free tickets, the school was given anywhere from $100-$150 for every point that Arenas scored. In one night he has donated more than $5,000 to local schools so that they can buy more supplies and improve the education for their students.
2. Arenas gave away shoes on his twitter account
Twitter can sometimes get athletes into trouble and Arenas has had his share of questionable tweets, interesting pictures (to say the least), and fines. So the fact that he gave shoes away to his followers is often over shadowed. He was one of a handful of athletes who gave gifts away on Twitter, but people are ignoring that positive fact. Not only did he give away shoes, but he paid for the shipping, gave fans the options of having them signed, and even shipped them to fans who lived outside the states.
3. The Zero Two Hero Foundation
We are all familiar with the 50 game suspension that Arenas served after his locker room incident, but how many of us know about his charity? The Zero Two Hero Foundation was started in 2005 by Arenas and has helped numerous families in the D.C. area. When hurricane Katrina hit Arenas bought $18,000 in supplies and gave them to victims of the storm. He did an annual Christmas event called Annual Christmas Dreams For Kids, where he treated hundreds of underserved children to a Wizards game, dinner, and presents. Also, Arenas hosted an online auction that raised $75,000 for the Arial Home Initiative.
4. He donated his entire playoff bonus to Robert Suller
Robert Suller, an equipment manager for the Wizards while Arenas was there, was in need of help. His daughter had Angelman Syndrome and was in need of 24 hour care. On top of that, the family needed a van that could accommodate the special needs of their daughter. Arenas stepped in and donated his entire playoff bonus to help the Suller family out. Arenas made close to $12 million that year before the bonus, so he had more than enough money. Yet, how many athletes have you heard of donating their ENTIRE bonuses?
5. His relationship with Andre McAllister, Jr.
On December 20, 2004 a 10 year old Andre McAllister, Jr. was the sole survivor of a fire that left him without his mother, sister, cousin, and great-grandfather. His father was in prison for a parole violation and Andre was in desperate need of some joy, love, and comfort. Enter Arenas. He spent a day with Andre Jr. taking him shopping and letting him come to a Wizards practice. At the end of their day, Arenas decided he was going to make the child who lost so much just five days before Christmas his “little brother”. Arenas made Andre Jr. a ball boy and invited him to several of the Wizards home games. The two have hung out at Arenas’ D.C. home, and he even threw Andre Jr. a 14th birthday party. He also takes Andre Jr. shopping around the Christmas season every year. As if that is not enough, Arenas has offered to pay Andre Jr.’s college tuition when that time comes. But, Arenas is remembered for one bad decision instead of his years of generosity while a member of the Washington Wizards.
C.J. Hurt covers the Grizzlies for MemphiSport. Follow him @churtj09 for live tweets from FedExForum.
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