NBA star Kyrie Irving is known for giving back to the community any chance he gets. During a two-day event held at Kean University in New Jersey on Wednesday and Thursday, Irving did just that – give back. The event, “More Than A Run” was hosted by Irving, a West Orange native, and featured one-on-one competitions, a high school showcase, giveaways, and an All-Star game that Irving played in.
He was also spotted playing the role as coach for his team. Multiple NBA players attended the game and sat courtside in support. The event was all about community support and a love for the game of basketball, with more than 2,000 basketball fans showing up for the fun.
The Mission of the Event: Bringing the Community Together
The event’s Instagram page promoted the two-day event last year for the first annual event and again this year. In a June 2021 post, they explained their mission, “Our mission is to provide a safe, professional and entertaining basketball environment for the enjoyment of the community, family and friends.
The More Than A Run team strives to stand by the title of the organization and display exactly that. We promote sportsmanship and teamwork through participation in both recreation and competitive basketball with the goal of networking and coming together as one. Our goal is to create different ways to bring unity, faith, respect, kindness, and love throughout our communities and ultimately across the world.”
Brooklyn Nets Teammates Were in Attendance
While there are plenty of NBA rumors circulating about the possibility of Irving leaving the Brooklyn Nets, it appears that he’s in a good place with his team. The Nets official Instagram page posted about Irving’s event.
A video posted was captioned, “@kyrieirving was hoopin’ at last night’s @morethanarun event,” and another post, a carousel of photo highlights was captioned, “Put on a show for the squad to enjoy.” Included in the photo carousel were pics of Nets teammates Royce O’Neale, Kessler Edwards, and David Duke.
So does that mean Nets fans can breathe a sigh of relief that Irving will be staying in Brooklyn this season? Only time will tell, but many are now more hopeful.
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A Moment of Silence For Brittney Griner
Just before the game began, after some fun warmups, Irving grabbed the mic and asked everyone for a moment of silence for WNBA star Brittney Griner and the situation she is currently dealing with in Russia. “Make sure we have a moment of silence for her. Nobody wants to be in that predicament.” After the moment of silence, Irving said, “Appreciate y’all. Now let’s get to it.”
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An Impressive Show by Hansel Emmanuel
One of Irving’s teammates for the event’s All-Star game, a high school player making a name for himself, had people in awe of his skills despite having one arm due to a childhood injury. Hansel Emmanuel went viral in 2021 for his dunks, three-pointers, and impressive passes. He first gained recognition online in 2020 and then moved from Santo Domingo to the United States in early 2021 after receiving a scholarship to play at Life Christian Academy in Kissimmee, Florida.
Within weeks of him first playing on the school’s team, his videos once again went viral on social media. In his first season of high school basketball, he averaged 26 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, and helped his team to win a Central Florida Christian Academy state title.
Spreading Kindness to Everyone
During the game, anytime there was a chance, kids and adults alike went over to Irving to get photos and signatures and Irving never said no. He made it a point to talk to everyone he could, sign shoes, jerseys, phones, and take selfies with anyone who asked, and he did it all with a smile. Irving, along with his sister Asia, were even giving out shoes to kids. Asia had a table set up promoting her business, “Her Kai And I” and was giving out free water bottles and notebooks.
After the game was over, a very close game in which Irving’s team lost by only a few points, his fans were quick to rush the court to get close to the NBA star. While Irving tried to accommodate everyone’s requests, it got a little crazy and he had to be escorted out of the mob of fans.