Tim Duncan is donating $250,000 to the U.S. Virgin Islands to those impacted by the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
Duncan announced the news in a Players' Tribune article calling for people to stand up and follow his lead, offering to match those who donate money.
"I'm donating $250,000 immediately — tonight — to the storm relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands. And going forward, I pledge to match your donations up to the first $1 million. That's where you come in: You can go here to make a donation. I've included more information at the end of this article, too."
Duncan was born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands, so this particular storm hits close to home that brought up familiar memories from his childhood. He recalled Hurricane Hugo in 1989 as a devastating storm that he described as "crippling" to the economy.
Hugo hit at night. The first thing I remember is a loud boom from the windows blowing out of our house. My mother and sister burst into my bedroom and led me by the hand into another room. We spent the rest of the night sitting in a small bathroom, our eyes wide open. None of us could sleep. We heard the bangs and booms of debris. Once in a while, I'd peek down the hallway at my dad, who was watching our ceiling. One of the beams had a crack in it, and the crack slowly grew bigger throughout the night. I think my dad was praying.
Our roof stayed on, but others were not so lucky. Some people died and many were injured. Those of us who survived woke up to find our neighborhood destroyed. Many houses on our block were missing roofs, or entire walls. Our next-door neighbors lost their house. They had spent the night hiding in their kitchen cabinets. They ended up moving in with us for a while after that.
With Duncan now in retirement after a successful NBA career, he's now in a position to help those in the area impacted by Hurricane Irma. And he says he's willing to do whatever it takes to help rebuild the place that built him.