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Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert signs autographs (Photo: KSL Sports/Ben Anderson)
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25. Jazz Charitable Contributions

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert signs autographs (Photo: KSL Sports/Ben Anderson)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz open their season on October 20, just 25 days from today. With the clock ticking, we look at 50 things for Jazz fans to be excited about leading up to the 2021-22 NBA season. Today, we look back at the charitable contributions Jazz players and owners have made to their communities and ours.

Jazz Charitable Contributions

Throughout the ups and downs of the NBA season, it’s easy to get lost in the overwhelming good the Jazz players and owners have had on the community.

While not every play has the resources or security to donate large sums of money, those players on the roster are still generous with their time.

With that in mind, here’s a look at a few of the major charitable contributions from those involved with the Jazz organization heading into this season.

Donovan Mitchell’s Enormous Financial Commitment

Few players in the NBA have made bigger donations than Donovan Mitchell despite the guard having just four years of play under his belt.

Last season, Mitchell announced he’d be donating $12 million to the Greenwich Country Day School in Connecticut which he attended from third to ninth grade. With the help of his mom and sister, Mitchell’s donation will fund the “Mitchell Family Scholarship Fund” which will help make the school more accessible to families in need, and the “Nicole Mitchell Faculty Support Fund” which will provide teachers with better funding in the classroom.

The superstar guard has also donated money to provide lunches for children in the Granite School District, donated basketball courts to the community center where his grandmother worked and donated countless shoes to college teams across the country.

Rudy Gobert’s Kids Foundation

Rudy Gobert recently unveiled a new court of his own as part of the “The Rudy Gobert Academy.” The basketball court was just the beginning of a massive project in Levallois-Perret, France that will offer youth from ages 10-16 lessons in English, writing, music, community outreach, and athletic development.

The Jazz superstar teamed with Nike to build the court entirely of recycled materials and Etendart to assist with the educational aspect of the academy.

Gobert also donated $500,000 to part-time Vivint Arena employees and COVID-19 related Services in Utah after the NBA was shut down in 2020.

The three-time Defensive Player of the Year is the namesake of the Rudy’s Kids Foundation which supports a variety of charities that benefit kids through education, recreation, and community health and outreach.

Mike Conley’s Philanthropy

Entering his 14th season in the NBA, Mike Conley has a long history of charity dating back to his time in Memphis.

In June of 2020, Conley donated $200,000 to help families that became unhoused and who needed food assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guard also raised $15,000 for the ALL IN Challenge, a charity auction that included a round of golf, plus all included first-class airfare to play with Conley in Ohio.

In March of 2020, the Conley won the NBA H-O-R-S-E Challenge tournament that raised more than $200,000 for coronavirus response efforts.

Soon after arriving in Utah, Conley surprised 15 youths with Xboxes at the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Boys and Girls Club in Murray.

Joe Ingles Donations

Joe Ingles has also shown off his charitable side during his time with the Jazz. In April of 2020, Ingles teamed with KeyBank to donate $10,000 to Kulture City, a non-profit organization that aims to make everyday environments more inclusive to people with autism and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ingles and wife Renee are the parents of a child with autism and sit on the Kulture City board.

The guard also teamed with KultureCity and the Salt Lake City Police Department SLCPD to help them become the first police department in the nation to be Certified Sensory Inclusive.

Ingles also worked with Chip Cookies and Vivint Gives Back by releasing a gourmet chocolate chip cookie made with semi-sweet chips and dyed blue in honor of Autism Awareness Month.

A portion of the proceeds from each cookie was used to fund specialized therapy, sensory spaces, and inclusive community programs for individuals with autism.

Ryan Smith’s Scholarships

Last season, the first under new owner Ryan Smith, the Jazz offered scholarships to underrepresented students to institutions across the state.

In total, the Jazz offered 55 scholarships due to the combination of regular and preseason wins, and surprised recipients of the scholarships in a viral video earlier this year.

 

Smith has also worked with Apple CEO Tim Cook and Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds to expand the reach of Encircle, a series of family and youth resource centers aimed at providing a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Though the Jazz face high expectations to compete for a championship on the court this season, their contributions off the floor may end up having a larger impact on the community and are one of the 50 biggest stories to look forward to heading into the opening night.

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