Our Athletes

Our charitable athletes come in all forms. Some are known around the world, some aren’t. Some are at the peak of their game; some are no longer involved in competition. Yet what they all share is the passion to be part of something bigger than themselves. Whether it’s hosting a sports clinic at a local Boys and Girls Club, participating in a community clean up, or advocating on Capitol Hill for a certain cause, our athletes are dedicated to making a difference in the world by giving back.

Athlete Spotlight

By working hand in hand with Athletes for Hope, these are a few of the outstanding athletes that have made a lasting impact in their communities.

Etan Thomas
It is fitting that Athletes for Hope first met Etan Thomas at a KaBOOM! playground build. Giving back is such an important part of his life that if you had to guess where Etan was, it would be safe to assume he’s somewhere in the community positively impacting those in need.

When we first began to talk to Etan about his philanthropic interests, he mentioned that he was passionate about improving the lives of underserved children. Shortly thereafter, Athletes for Hope facilitated an opportunity for Etan to speak at the Newport Mill Middle School. He masterfully gained their attention, shared his message of pursuing your dreams, and signed autographs for nearly 100 children.

In 2008 Etan found out he needed open heart surgery to repair a leak in his aortic valve. After successful surgery and recovery, Etan discovered his passion for helping others with heart related issues. Athletes for Hope soon connected Etan to the American Heart Association and he later became a spokesperson for the organization and shared valuable insight through his inspiring story of recovery.

Over the last several years Etan has continued to support a variety of charitable causes. He recently spoke to a group of juvenile inmates at the Washington DC Correctional Treatment facility, and it was clear that he had their attention from the moment he walked in. Etan spoke passionately of the struggles he faced growing up and how they still had time to change their lives for the better. At the end of the speech, it was clear that his impact was deeply felt as individual after individual thanked him and promised to make better life choices in the future.

“Etan is a rare jewel,” L.A. Lakers Guard Derek Fisher said. “He’s committed to life outside the NBA. Etan believes there’s a higher purpose, a higher power. He’s committed to using this platform to influence young people and impact lives that will transcend any contributions he has on the court.”