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Kawhi Leonard & the L.A. Clippers Will Donate 1 Million Backpacks

September 03, 2019DMT.NEWS

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Kawhi Leonard and L.A. Clippers Donate 1 Million Backpacks to SoCal Students

Kawhi Leonard may be one of the hottest ballers in the NBA right now, but it also appears that he — and his team — have their hearts in the right place, too. Especially when it comes to SoCal students.

According to the NBA, Leonard and his teammates with the L.A. Clippers are partnering with charity Baby2Baby to make sure 1 million California schoolchildren kick off the new year with some new swag.

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Every single student in three different California school districts — Inglewood Unified, Moreno Valley Unified, and Los Angeles Unified — will receive a brand new backpack courtesy of Kawhi Leonard and company. Joined by Baby2Baby ambassadors — and other celebrities, Nicole Richie, Busy Philipps and Zooey Deschanel, the famous Clippers small forward made the donation announcement while visiting his former alma mater, Cloverdale Elementary.

LA Clippers, Kawhi Leonard & Gillian Zucker Announce Community Initiative with Baby2Baby WATTS, CA -AUGUST 20: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers gives out backpacks to students at 107th Street Elementary School on August 20, 2019 in Watts, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

“My goal this year is to make a meaningful contribution both on and off the court. This felt like the right way to get started,” Leonard said. “It was important to me to make this announcement in my hometown of Moreno Valley at my former Elementary School, but the benefits this program will have across all of Los Angeles makes today even more special.”

While attending Cloverdale, a school nestled in the heart of the Moreno Valley, Leonard proved himself to be a good student. He earned an honor roll award in 2000, nearly two decades prior to helping the Toronto Raptors win Canada's first NBA Championship. After clinching his second NBA Championship (his first in 2014 with the San Antonio Spurs) he would go on to sign with the Clippers.

Aside from the joint efforts on the backpack and school supplies front, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer made his own contribution. Ballmer donated $10 million to see various public basketball courts around the city of Los Angeles restored and refurbished.

Going on to speak to the capabilities of the students present, Kawhi Leonard kept it short and simple, expressing great confidence in their futures. 

LA Clippers, Kawhi Leonard & Gillian Zucker Announce Community Initiative with Baby2Baby WATTS, CA -AUGUST 20: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers gives out backpacks to students at 107th Street Elementary School on August 20, 2019 in Watts, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

“This is where it all started for me at Cloverdale,” he said. “This is where the dream began ... I hope you guys know the Clippers have your backs so long as you put in the work. Like I always say, just be great.”

For Kawhi Leonard, 2019 and 2020 is all about returning home. Born in Los Angeles and now playing professional basketball there, it looks like the stopover to Cloverfield Elementary was just one more step toward a long-deserved and well-earned homecoming.

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Christina Majaski, Khareem Sudlow

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