Utah Jazz: Generous Enes Kanter Makes Big Christmas Donation to Kids

Image SALT LAKE CITY — It took a mighty good cause for Enes Kanter to give up a SpongeBob SquarePants toy he recently bought. But, yes, he did it for the kids. On Monday morning, the Jazz center, jokingly called “Kanter Klaus” by the team’s community relations department, put on a seasonal red-and-white cap and donated more than 200 stuffed animals, Jazz basketballs and toys to the Toys for Tots program. “I’m the Turkey Santa today,” Kanter said with a big smile. The Turkish citizen doesn’t personally celebrate Christmas as a Muslim, but he appreciates the Christian holiday and wanted to spread joy to children.

“It’s really important. I’ve been living in the United States for four or five years now. I understand the culture,” Kanter said. “Americans and kids really like Christmas, so I just wanted to give a gift and get them toys …

“It’s a special day for them,” he added, “and it’s a really good feeling to put a smile on their face so they can have a good day.”

This is just one of many outreach events the Jazz are doing during the NBA Cares Season of Giving. On Friday, team employees made 40,000-plus meals for a Philippines relief effort.

On Monday, some U.S. Marines helped load the gifts after the team’s shootaround session for later distribution to local children in need at Fort Douglas.

“This is huge,” Sgt. William Cross said before helping Kanter pack the toys into a delivery truck. “For someone who has as busy of a schedule as he does to be able to take time out of his day, especially on a game day, to donate what he’s donating for us and for the kids and families, it’s amazing.”

The Jazz have also done hospital visits and served a Thanksgiving dinner for homeless and underprivileged Utahns, among other charity events. (By Jody Genessy, Deseret News)
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07