Australia’s NBA Players Commit $750,000 to Fight Bushfires Back Home

As bushfires continue to rage across Australia, the country’s NBA contingent is springing into action. On Wednesday, the NBA, the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and the league’s nine players hailing from Down Under—Ben Simmons and Jonah Bolden of the Philadelphia 76ers, Matthew Dellavedova and Dante Exum of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Patty Mills of the San Antonio Spurs, Joe Ingles of the Utah Jazz, Aron Baynes of the Phoenix Suns, Thon Maker of the Detroit Pistons and Ryan Broekhoff of the Dallas Mavericks—announced a combined $750,000 donation to support both immediate relief efforts and long-term recovery.

“We are heartbroken over the devastation these fires are causing all across our homeland,” the players said in a joint statement. “Our thoughts are with our families, friends and all of the people of Australia. We hope you feel our love and support, and know that we will continue to bring awareness to this crisis globally and provide assistance in any way we can.”

The latest round of bushfires—already the most devastating in Australia’s recorded history—have burned upwards of 12 million acres, destroyed more than 2,000 homes and killed at least 25 people, along with hundreds of millions of wild animals since September. More than 180 people have been arrested for allegedly lighting bushfires deliberately, with 24 currently facing charges.

 

Josh Martin is the Editorial Director of CloseUp360. He previously covered the NBA for Bleacher Report and USA Today Sports Media Group, and has written for Yahoo! Sports and Complex. He is also the co-host of the Hollywood Hoops podcast. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.