Kristaps Porzingis spent some time with dozens of young basketball players at the Abyssinian Baptist Church to announce that he’ll be donating $500 to the RENS, a not-for-profit hoops program, for every shot he blocks this season.
The campaign officially started today with the Knicks beating the Hawks 104-94. Unfortunately, Porzingis didn’t have a block in the game.
The RENS will use the donations from the “KrisStops” campaign for the Ben Jobe Educational and Scholarship Fund. It will help provide RENS participants with free tutoring, SAT prep and tuition money for students in third to eighth grades.
Ben Jobe is an 83-year-old former head coach who has over 530 wins as a coach at seven black colleges and universities. He now serves as a Knicks team scout.
“I’m going to go after all the shots that I can block. It’s a great feeling to give back and be able to do something like this,” he said while hanging out in the Harlem church’s gym. “I have to block everything I can to donate as much money as I can.”
The kids mobbed Porzingis soon as he stepped foot into the gym. He was received with cheers and KP chants fitting for the Knicks’ superstar. Kristaps took part in shoot around with the kids and also found the time to take plenty of selfies with the young fans.
“This is my home now and I hope to be here for many, many years,” he said. “So this is only the beginning, so hopefully in the future we can do much more and bigger things.”
Porzingis has emerged as the Knicks’ best defensive player (tied for first on the team with 1.2 blocks and 0.8 steals per game, first in defensive rebounds at 4.9 per game), and is now giving back to New York community for it. More and more, Kristaps Porzingis is showing us by example, why he is the future sports king of New York.