“Had a great time hooping in Jamica. #Respect” (Image via Reggie Evans on Instagram)
Brooklyn Nets center Andray Blatche’s list of off-court transgressions are numerous and lengthy, and they’re usually not positive. But each offseason, Blatche does do a bit of good quietly, and invited a teammate along with him this time around.
In June, Blatche, Nets forward Reggie Evans, and some of the Brooklynnettes traveled to Jamaica to help the RuJohn Foundation, a non-profit to benefit kids in inner-city Jamaican schools.
“Dray (Blatche), he tag-teamed with this foundation,” Evans said. “Dray wanted me to go, so me and my wife went down there to support him.”
A conversation between Evans’s wife and Blatche’s mother helped convince the families to travel to spend a week with the foundation, which Blatche has worked with for four years. “I kept hearing about it,” Blatche said, and was convinced by his financial advisor to team up with the charitable organization.
The two traveled from Kingston to Montego Bay and into the heart of Jamaica, where Evans says he played basketball both with the foundation and some teams down there. “I got a chance to see the tourist side and the real Jamaican side.”
The foundation brings out basketball players, football players, and actors, who speak with kids and participate in athletic events with them. It wasn’t all just sports: the foundation provides school supplies and clothes for students, and held an essay contest for high school kids, with the best essays earning kids laptops or money towards a college scholarship. “It was more just for giving back to the kids, trying to put a smile on their face and getting them prepared for class,” Blatche said of his time there.
It’s a given that Blatche would rather have been in Jamaica — or even Brooklyn — than at Duke. “I don’t want to go to Duke for training camp,” Blatche joked on media day. “Duke never wanted to give me no scholarship.”