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Former Buckeye Mike Conley donates $200,000 to 5 communities in response to COVID-19

by Sarah Wynn

Wed, May 20th 2020, 11:34 AM CDT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) — In response to the coronavirus pandemic, former Buckeye, and current Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley has donated $200,000 to benefit five communities that have helped shape him, including Columbus.

Conley's contribution to five communities will address food insecurity, homelessness, and remote learning needs exacerbated by COVID-19.

His $200,000 donation will be distributed among the Utah Food Bank in Salt Lake City; CodeCrew in Memphis, Tennessee.; Community Shelter Board and the Columbus Urban League in Columbus, Ohio; the Indianapolis Public Schools Foundation in Indianapolis, Indiana; and the New Haven Missionary Baptist Church in West Helena, Arkansas.

Conley's gift will support the Community Shelter Board in Columbus, the city where he attended college at The Ohio State University and makes his offseason home. The contribution will provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff working in isolation and quarantine shelters for those experiencing homelessness and infected with the coronavirus.

“Giving back and helping others is very important to me. The COVID-19 crisis has allowed me to slow down and appreciate who I am and where I am in life,” said Conley. “It has reminded me that I am in this position because of the support and sacrifices of others I’ve encountered all along the way. I wanted to be there for the communities that have been fundamental to my personal growth and are now suffering due to the effects of this pandemic. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”

A portion of Conley's $200,000 contribution will also assist the Columbus Urban League in its mission to create hope and opportunity for the nearly 40,000 African American and disadvantaged urban families it assists every year.

"Extraordinary times demand extraordinary leaders. Mike and Mary Conley’s generosity and leadership certainly give us hope in overcoming the challenges we face today – and their commitment reminds us that when it comes to COVID-19, we are all in this together. We’re delighted that by partnering with the Community of Caring Development Foundation, an arm of New Salem Baptist Church, we can help meet the basic food needs of the nearly 350 families whose children have been a part of the Columbus Urban League’s outreach programs this past year, as well as restock the shelves of other families in our community who need an extra hand at this time," said Stephanie Hightower, Columbus Urban League President & CEO.

CHICAGO - MARCH 09: Mike Conley Jr. #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes drives against Dion Harris #5 of the Michigan Wolverines during the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Conference Tournament March 9, 2007 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Ohio St. won 72-62. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

His donation is aligned with the "Acts of Caring" platform of NBA Together, the global community and social engagement campaign launched by the NBA family in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month, Conley won the NBA Horse Challenge, which included a donation from State Farm of more than $200,000 on behalf of the participants to charities focused on coronavirus response efforts.

Conley played for Ohio State from 2006-07. That team made it to the Final Four before losing to Florida in the National Championship game. He was selected with the fourth overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies.

MADISON, WI - JANUARY 09: Mike Conley Jr. #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes drives for a shot attempt against Joe Krabbenhoft #45 of the Wisconsin Badgers during their Big Ten Conference game on January 9, 2007 at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Check out the ABC 6 article here


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