Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Wesley Matthews may be on the sidelines nursing a stress fracture in his right fibula, but he’s using his downtime wisely.
The nine-year NBA veteran spent Wednesday morning donating 30 bikes and helmets to students at Mi Escuelita Preschool in Dallas. He even instructed kids who were a little shaky on their pedals.
“It’s good to give bikes to kids who at a time like now just desperately need to be able to be kids,” Matthews told Sports Day. “It’s unfortunate that in society right now, we’re taking youth from these kids. It’s sad to see. As adults, we got to do a better job and make better decisions that will obviously affect what’s going on with the youth.
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“We got to be more attentive to what’s going on with kids in school. Teachers bust their butts. If we can get the kids having fun outside and being kids, like they’re supposed to be, we’re setting ourselves up for a good situation later on.”
Matthews is no stranger to giving back to his community. While he was with the Portland Trailblazers, he hosted an annual coat drive, benefiting local Boys & Girls Clubs, where more than 2,500 winter coats were donated to families in need.
When he arrived in Dallas in 2015, he continued with the winter clothing drive to keep those on the streets warm.
He also steps up in the summer. Each August, he holds a basketball camp at his alma mater, James Madison Memorial High School in Madison, Wisconsin. The Wesley Matthews Skills Academy is free for boys and girls who are entering grades 6 through 12. The camp provides students an opportunity to not only sharpen their skills on the court and learn new techniques on both sides of the ball, but it gives them a chance to grow outside of the game, too, by cultivating leadership and confidence.
More than an NBA star? You bet. Matthews is a person other athletes can look to as a model for living beyond the sport.