Tim Duncan has always been a highly effective and quiet leader behind the scenes and out of the public eye as he was not only the Spurs best player for almost 15 years on the court, but the heart and soul of the organization as a whole.
He is leading and making a difference behind the scenes yet again, this time to raise money for victims of Hurricane Irma in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) September 20, 2017
As many know, Duncan was born and grew up in the U.S. Virgin Islands before being recruited to Wake Forest University in 1993.
What many don’t know is that Duncan was a promising young swimmer as a teenager and a standout in the 50, 100 and 400 meter freestyle. He had dreams of swimming for the U.S. Olympic team, but when Hurricane Hugo hit the island in 1989 and the only Olympic-sized swimming pool was destroyed, Duncan was forced to practice in the ocean and quickly lost his enthusiasm for swimming because of his fear of sharks (I bet), which motivated him to focus on basketball.
While his decision to focus on basketball was a good one and lead him to become one of the five greatest basketball players in NBA history, in my opinion, that story shows how he has been personally affected and lived through the damage inflicted by a hurricane and is doing his part to help those in his native homeland, an area often forgotten as people focus on areas in the U.S. mainland.
His former coach and mentor Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich commended him for his Humanitarian work during media day earlier this week:
Here is an excerpt from a story from Tim Osborn on My San Antonio:
“I was very, very proud of him,” Popovich said Monday at the team’s Media Day. “Because for somebody who really does dislike being the front man or in front of the camera, he took the lead solely for the good of other people and was willing to quote unquote eat it and do what he needed to do to help a large group of people. He did a fine job. And he is still at it.”
Duncan has distributed 20,000 plus pounds of food at this point.
In the midst of all of the drama and dissension pervasive in the country right now, it is awesome to see people doing their part to help those in need after what has been a very tragic month for many.