Professional Athletes Give Back - Communities Benefit During The Holidays And Throughout The Year

At holiday time, November and December 2015, the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) - Atlanta Chapter and other athletes were found bringing beautiful and happy smiles to many communities in Atlanta, Georgia.


NBRPA-LaVon Mercer; Mr.Bee; Rickie Clements; Mike Reckord; Theo Ratcliff; Marvin Roberts; Hoyland Ricks; Courtney Alexander; Kevin Willis and Harold Keeling "giving back" cheerfully - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth



UT Vol/NBRPA-Reggie Johnson and UT Vol/NBRPA Dale Ellis attending the UT Vols vs Gonzaga in Seattle, Washington to bond with the younger Vols while their fellow NBRPA were spending time with "Shaq-A-Claus" known as Shaquille O'Neil back in Atlanta, Georgia - Courtesy of University Tennessee Network


The NBRPA consist of players who have retired from the professional game of basketball and are still a part of the game.  These days, they are still using their strong ideals and determination off the court to help the youth, families and communities.


NBRPA-Mr Bee; Mike Reckord; Courtney Alexander; Kevin Willis; LaVon Mercer; Marvin Roberts; Shaquille O'Neal; Hoyland Ricks; Harold & Michelle Keeling; Theo Ratcliff and Rickie Clements giving back to communities - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth



The NBRPA joined with Butterball, LLC on November 23, 2015 and had “The Great Turkey Give-Away” of 100 Turkeys to families at three Boys & Girls Clubs. The players and families were equally happy to be part of this great event, which they hope will be an annual event.

Butterball and NBRPA team up for a successful Thanksgiving event - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth


NBRPA-Atlanta Chapter President Dale Ellis and NBRPA Atlanta Chapter Treasurer Marvin Roberts gets assistance from former Fox 5 News Anchor Amanda Davis, Sharyn Outtrim of PrimeSport and other staff members passing out Butterball turkeys - Courtesy of Daffney Ellis


NBRPA- Marvin Roberts, Amanda Davis, NBRPA-Dale Ellis and wife Daffney Ellis "Give Away Turkeys" in a special way at The Salvation Army Bellwood Boys & Girls Club - Courtesy of Sylvia Weddington


Renee Sudderth, NBRPA Administrative Assistant; Frank Sanchez, Director of the Boys & Girls Club; NBRPA Dale Ellis and Sylvia Weddington, Administrative Assistant NBRPA enjoying this Thanksgiving moment with an excited family - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth


NBRPA-LaVon Mercer and Reggie Johnson both brings happy smiles to this family - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth


NBRPA-Lavon Mercer; Boys & Girls Club Staff; Renee Sudderth, NBRPA Adminstrative Assistant; and NBRPA Reggie Johnson host the "Give Away Turkeys" at The Salvation Army Fuqua Boys & Girls Club - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth


NBRPA-Harold and wife Michelle Keeling making a difference with this family and their Butterball turkeys- Courtesy of Harold Keeling


NBRPA-Harold and Michelle Keeling bringing joy to the Peachcrest Boys & Girls Club families - Courtesy of Harold Keeling


Peachcrest Boys & Girls Club welcomes NBRPA-Harold Keeling and wife Michelle as they represent NBRPA Giving Back to the communities - Courtesy of Harold Keeling


The NBRPA assisted one of their own, a top legend, Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal but for this event he was known as Shaq-A-Claus. He teamed up with the American Diabetes Association and etc., to give 400 families an unforgettable Christmas with toys, food, coats, and information on Diabetics/Health and much more at Columbia Middle School gymnasium in Decatur, Georgia where Dr. Keith Jones is the principal and who help initiate this special event. 


"Shaq-A-Claus" (Shaquille O'Neil) team up with American Diabetes Association for this successful event - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth



Coats and other great gifts "Shaq-A-Claus" and elves handed out - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth


NBRPA/NBA Champion (4x) Legend-"Shaq-A-Claus" and Dr. Keith Jones, Principal of Columbia Middle School help made this day a success - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth


Shaq made sure the environment was filled with great musical entertainment, a bicycle “Give Away” and he made sure to bond with each family by shaking their hands and taking photos with them.


Other organizations that were there assisting him, we were able to share the great moments with the photos of Shaq interacting with the kids.  Everyone walked away with enthusiasm and a deep appreciation. Now they were ready to go celebrate Christmas at home especially after some of the youth entered the dance contest to see who would win the two bicycles.


Shaq poses with fellow NBRPA-Reggie Johnson's organization members (Harold Keeling; Michelle Keeling; Sylvia Weddington; Renee Sudderth; Dernita Johnson; Shaq-A-Claus; Ms J; Rickie Clements; Sallie White; Pat Oalden and LaVon Mercer); while Reggie and brother Ronald were out of town - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth



NBRPA - Mr. Pa; Theo Ratcliff; Mike Reckord; Kevin Willis; Courtney Alexander and Sylvia Weddington, NBRPA Executive Director of Communications and Real Estate Expert Weddington Realtor/Broker - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth


NBRPA/Reserve Police Officer Shaquille O'Neal thanks these Policemen for a great job - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth


Once this exciting experience was over, several NBRPA and other volunteers were ready to make a change from their sports attire to a glamorous breath-taking look to attend the Atlanta Mayor’s Masked Ball at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta.



NBRPA-Marvin Roberts and former Fox 5 News Anchor Amanda Davis enjoying a beautiful evening by "giving back" at the 2015 Mayor's Mask Ball - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth



NBRPA/Atlanta Hawks Retired Jersey Recipient-Dikembe Mutombo and wife Rose being a part of this exclusive UNCF fund raiser - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth


Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and wife Sarah-Elizabeth Reed at the Mayor's Mask Ball both looking stunning - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth



Kim Fields, actress-singer-television director of "Housewives of Atlanta" but widely known as Tootie from the 80's TV sitcom "The Facts of Life" - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth


The 32nd Annual United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Mayor’s Masked Ball is a fund raising gala founded by former Mayor Andrew Young and the great Baseball legend Hank Aaron’s wife, Mrs. Billye S. Aaron.


Mayor's Ball/UNCF Volunteer Renee Sudderth congratulating Mrs. Billye Aaron for having the vision with Ambassador/Former Mayor Andrew Young for the historical UNCF fund raiser for college students - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth



Mayor's Ball/UNCF Volunteer Renee Sudderth chatting with 82 year old Henry "Hank" Aaron, the "755-Career Home Run American League Baseball Legend" - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth


Here is another athlete and his wife giving back to the community and giving college students an opportunity for greater success while in college and in life. Also, living up to the UNCF’s motto “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”.


On Friday, February 12, 2016 the community will be giving back to one of the NBRPA, Kevin Willis and other sport heroes (Chipper Jones, Clarence Scott, Al Ciraldo and Mike Kenn) by inducting them into the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame just like the President of the NBRPA Chapter Atlanta, Dale Ellis who was inducted last year. 


Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame on Friday, February 12, 2016 in Buckhead, GA - Courtesy of Atlanta Sports Hall of Famer



NBRPA/NBA (San Antonio Spurs) Champion and oldest NBA player to retire at age 44, Kevin Willis will be one of the Sports Heroes honored - Courtesy of Atlanta Hawks


NBRPA-President, Atlanta Chapter Dale Ellis (Real Estate Consultant & Marketing Director of Sylvia Weddington Real Estate) inducted to the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame 2015 while NBRPA/NBA Philadelphia 76ers Champion -Reggie Johnson was there for support - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth


We are proud to see these athletes and other volunteers giving back to communities and getting others involved with great community participation.


"Shaq-A-Claus" (Shaquille O'Neil) gives plenty of toys and other gifts to a happy group of kids - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth


It doesn’t have to be the holidays to bring love and laughter to people.  It is great to spread it every day throughout the year.  Don’t leave it up to athletes to do this, make sure you take out time of your busy day to get involved and make a difference in someone else life.  When you do that, you will be happier with yourself and the world will be a better place for everyone.  Enjoy 2016 and go make things happen with God guiding your steps!!!


Copyright © 2016.January This story written and photos by Renee Sudderth for Splash Magazines. It is not to be sold or reproduce without written permission of Renee Sudderth


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