Sports

Holidays leading ex-Pels’ effort to aid Ida victims

A group of former New Orleans Pelicans players is making donations to the communities in the areas of Southeast Louisiana affected by Hurricane Ida last month, with Jrue and Lauren Holiday leading the charge.

The Holidays, Langston Galloway, Jahlil Okafor and Frank Jackson have committed to sending four truckloads of supplies to the region. The supplies include 200 generators, 200 gas cans and gift cards for gasoline and stores.

The supplies are scheduled to be delivered as early as this weekend.

“We will always consider New Orleans home for us and the people have always supported us through our most difficult times and it’s our job to do the same,” the Holidays told ESPN in a statement.

Storm recovery in the region has been slowed by a lack of electricity, with up to 900,000 people without power in the parts of Louisiana hit by the storm. Generators quickly became a go-to purchase for many families who stayed, and lines for gasoline have been frequent since people started to trickle back into the area.

While most of New Orleans will have power by the end of the week, many in the surrounding areas could be without power throughout September. Despite the storm’s impact, everything is on track for the Pelicans to begin training camp in New Orleans as scheduled at the end of the month.

“We will always consider New Orleans home for us and the people have always supported us through our most difficult times and it’s our job to do the same.”

Jrue and Lauren Holiday

Prior to the restart of the 2019-20 season, the Holidays pledged the rest of Jrue’s salary to fight racism and inequality in Black communities in the New Orleans, Indianapolis (Lauren’s hometown) and Los Angeles (Jrue’s hometown) areas, via the JLH Social Impact Fund. This donation is being made through the couple’s Full of Grace Foundation, which powers their social impact initiatives.

The Pelicans traded Holiday to Milwaukee before the 2020-21 season, and he helped the Bucks win the NBA title. This summer, Jrue Holiday played for USA Basketball and joined his wife as a gold-medal winner. Lauren Holiday won gold in 2008 and 2012 as a member of the United States women’s soccer team.

Okafor was with New Orleans for two seasons (2018-20), while Jackson was with the Pelicans for three seasons (2017-20). Both played for the Detroit Pistons last season.

Galloway, who is from Baton Rouge and played 55 games with New Orleans in the 2016-17 season, is making his donation through The Langston Galloway Foundation he started with his wife, Sabrina, in 2018.

“Louisiana is home for Langston and I, so when Hurricane Ida hit, we knew that, although our hometown was spared, our friends and families in the neighboring parishes needed us to show up move than ever,” Sabrina Galloway said, adding that they coordinated with the mayor of Baton Rouge to aid in the response. “Community is who we are, and working in our community is what we do. This tragedy is no different. It is extra special to team up with our NBA family to make a greater impact.”

Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas’ company GRE3N is also in the area for Ida cleanup and helping to restore electricity.

Pelicans owner Gayle Benson made an initial $1 million donation to the Gulf Coast Renewal Fund on Aug. 30, the day after the storm ravaged Southeast Louisiana. Former Pelicans player JJ Redick and his wife, Chelsea, donated $100,000 to the Second Harvest Food Bank in New Orleans to assist with the recovery efforts.



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