Former NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury. File Photo
MANILA – Living up to his promise of helping Filipinos, former
2-time National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Stephon Marbury returned to Manila for a 3-day visit that will center on charity work.
“I know how it is to grow up and not have the finer things,” said Marbury in an e-mail message ahead of his Manila-bound flight. “I’ve been so blessed beyond my wildest dreams and I just want to share those blessings with the Filipino youth, and I hope one day they will pay it forward and be a blessing to others.”
It is Marbury’s fourth visit in Manila.
Marbury, who used to play for the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics, is teaming up with Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno for a shoe-giving project at the Tondo National High School.
Angara, Senate chair of the Senate Committee on Games, Amusement and Sports, said it was the 37-year-old’s rags-to- riches story and love for the Filipinos which convinced the senator to join Marbury’s cause.
“Stephon continues to be an inspiration to kids worldwide because of his inspiring story of having come from humble beginnings to NBA superstardom. That he chooses the Philippines as his venue for his charitable efforts is truly welcome and admirable given how much Filipinos love basketball and look up to him,” Angara said.
Aside from the shoe drive, there will also be an apple drive project spearheaded by JCI Makati.
Marbury’s Manila visit was arranged by his agent, Sheryl Reyes.
Marbury’s previous trip involved a charity basketball event for the benefit of the National Press Club Ahon Pamilyang Lansangan Foundation that is caring for children afflicted with the liver disease biliary atresia.
Marbury left the NBA to play for the Zhongyu Dragons, and later, the Beijing Ducks in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).
In 2012, he steered the Ducks to the CBA crown past 7-time champions Guangdong Southern Tigers.
Last March, he repeated the feat by leading Beijing to another title after beating the Xinjoang Flying Tigers in their best-of-7 finals battle.