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Australia's NBA stars have dug deep and enlisted the help of the league in an incredible show of support for the countless bushfire victims in their homeland.
With fires devastating communities across Australia, some of the country's best basketball players have secured a staggering $750,000 to assist the recovery and relief from the fire crisis.
'BIGGER THAN TENNIS': Nick Kyrgios' tears over bushfire disaster
This is incredible. The nine Australians in the NBA have partnered with the NBA and NBPA to donate $750,000 (USD) to relief and recovery efforts for the bushfires in Australia. pic.twitter.com/jds6bNn8jf
— Olgun Uluc (@OlgunUluc) January 7, 2020
Aussie Boomers players Aron Baynes (Phoenix Suns), Jonah Bolden and Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers), Ryan Broekhoff (Dallas Mavericks), Matthew Dellavedova and Dante Exum (Cleveland Cavaliers), Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz), Thon Maker (Detroit Pistons), and Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs) have gotten both the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) on board to pledge their support for the bushfire cause.
“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 NBA's commitment comes after No.1 draft prospect and NBL star LaMelo Ball pledged one month’s salary towards the bushfire cause.
“Our players have a deep connection to the places where they grew up and have always responded with generosity and compassion in the aftermath of disasters,” Sherrie Deans, executive director of the NBPA Foundation, said.
“The Foundation’s board is committed to extending our long-standing support of players’ financial contributions in response to disasters through this joint effort.”
A raft of other sports stars have also dug deep in support of the countless bushfire victims, with Nick Kyrgios kicking off a wave of donations in the tennis world and cricket great Shane Warne auctioning off his famous baggy green cap for the cause.
The latest bid for the treasured piece of memorabilia stands at $375,000 before Friday's deadline.
AFL, Cricket plan fundraising matches for bushfire appeal
Meanwhile, the AFL and Cricket Australia are reportedly considering organising special matches to aid the victims of the bushfire crisis.
A State of Origin match between teams consisting of AFL players could be held next month, according to the Herald Sun.
Marvel Stadium has been touted as the venue for the match with February 28 touted as the likely date.
"There are a number of ideas and initiatives we are working through with clubs and players across both AFL and AFLW that can support fundraising efforts in the short-term as well as support the ongoing rebuilding of local communities in the longer term," a league spokesman said.
The last State of Origin match would be the first since 1999, when Victoria defeating South Australia by 54 points at the MCG.
A number of AFL clubs and players have launched their initiatives to raise funds with hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations already pledged.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Cricket Australia will confirm a match as a curtain-raiser to the Big Bash League final on February.
Warne and Ricky Ponting have been mentioned as possible participants while Australia cricket coach Justin Langer said he would play if asked in a game that would involved past and current players.