Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma is helping out his hometown’s YMCA expand with a $1 million donation. Kuzma announced the donation on “GMA3: What You Need To Know” on Wednesday explaining why this project and donation is important to him.
Kyle Kuzma Is Helping To Expand His Hometown YMCA
The YMCA of Greater Flint recently announced their intentions to move to a new facility near the Mass Transportation Authority center in the downtown area. The $41 million facility will include a six-lane lap pool, family splash pad and spa, full basketball court, track, and locker rooms.
Kuzma‘s donation, through the Kyle Kuzma Foundation, will be used to build the gymnasium in the new location, according to a press release from the YMCA. They will name it after Kuzma and will have all the sports equipment needed for basketball, pickleball and volleyball. The new facility is due to break ground this spring and open to the public by January 2025.
Kuzma explained why this project is so important to him. “Growing up in Flint, the YMCA was very much my home away from home. It was my safe place and looking back now, it truly was the birthplace of many of the dreams I had as a young kid,” Kuzma said in a statement. “This donation is for the next generation and it’s my hope that this new facility can provide them with the same thing that it did for me: a place to dream.”
Kyle Kuzma Reflects On What It Was Like Growing Up In Flint, Michigan
When asked about what growing up in Flint and playing at the local YMCA meant to Kuzma, he talked about his childhood days spent at the Y. “The YMCA was amazing. For me, it was a place where I could be safe and I could just be myself. A lot of times my mom would be working eight, nine hours a day and I would have to take the bus sometimes super early in the morning in the summer just to be there and I wanted to be there because one, there’s nothing to do at home and two, I love basketball,” he said.
“Me being able to get to the Y early and play against the older guys at 12 when they had their lunch break and being able to stay until 5 to play with my guys it’s helped shape my life who I am today.”
Kuzma made the announcement to the YMCA while on the show saying, “I am donating $1 million to the Flint YMCA.” After a round of applause he continued, “I’m extremely excited to give you guys this opportunity. I know for me, the YMCA has been extremely a big part of my life and I never really had amazing resources and for you guys, I want to make sure you guys have that and the younger generation in Flint. Thank you, YMCA.”
Kyle Kuzma’s Mom Was At The YMCA During The Announcement
During his interview, Kuzma credited his mom for his success and inspiration. “When I was growing up, she worked two jobs and that hard work and dedication just to make ends meet and put food on the table that’s been my inspiration my entire life,” he said. “Seeing that at a young age and seeing how her leading by example for her kids and everything, it was all I really needed.”
Kuzma’s mom was on hand at the YMCA during the announcement. She was holding one side of the massive donation check while talking about what this means to her. “I think it’s just going to be a great thing for the community and the city of Flint and for the members. I think it’s something that they really deserve. They’ve hung in there with this Y for so many years,” she said. “It’s been needing some upgrades, so this is going to be a great thing for the city of Flint and the members and the families, just more space, and a safe place for the kids and more programs.”
Kuzma’s mom broke into tears thanking her son for giving back to the community. She then said he was always a good kid and never got into trouble. “I would drop him off sometimes before work and he would have to stay here for eight hours until I could get out of work to come get him,” she said. “It just shows the commitment he has and that’s why he is where he is and I’m so proud of what he’s done on the court but more importantly what he’s done off the court and continues to do.”
Kyle Kuzma Shared The News On Instagram
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Kuzma shared a clip of the interview on his Instagram page. Many of the NBA star’s friends and fans dropped into the comment section with well wishes for his generous donation. Girlfriend, Winnie Harlow wrote, “Beautiful heart ❤️.” The Washington Wizards added, “💙.”
One follower wrote, “This major. Keep winning bro,” and another added, “What a heart Kuz thinking of others future.”