by Ryne Nelson

Charitable work in the League is often taken for granted, but for a long time, Amare Stoudemire has gone above and beyond. Stoudemire’s offseason was incredibly productive, especially in the developing republic of Sierra Leone. By fortifying and improving wells in these communities, Stoudemire ensured water would be readily available for a long time. Water is life–and that too is often taken for granted.

Today, the NBA honored Amare with its Community Assist Award. Below is video from his time in Sierra Leone and the full press-release.

NBA STAR PHOENIX SUNS’ AMARE STOUDEMIRE AIDS SIERRA LEONE

Phoenix Suns’ Amare Stoudemire made a significant monetary donation to aid the people of Sierra Leone and build water wells and a sports academy.

The 2003 Rookie of the Year and three-time All Star took a trip to Sierra Leone, West Africa this summer, on behalf of his foundation, Each 1, Teach 1, and the Zee Community Development Foundation to unveil various project sites where he has donated money to rehabilitate wells.  While in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Amare met with the President Dr. Ernest Bai Amare and prezKoroma, Vice President Sam Sumans and the rest of the cabinet.  He also made various site visits, such as to the water well site in the village Makereh, as well as played a game of basketball with the Sierra Leonean team.  Stoudemire, the Each 1, Teach 1 Foundation and ZeeCD Foundation will continue to partner up to bring more clean water to the country, as well as build an Academy.

“This was a trip that I had been looking forward to taking my whole life, said Stoudemire, “We had already begun to help the communities in Sierra Leone, and it was great to see the efforts in person. One water well built provides water for 450 people, so as you can see, the impact is huge.”

The high death toll, particularly with women and children, caused by preventable water- and sanitation-related diseases is being combated with Stoudemire and ZCD’s collaborative efforts. Stoudemire’s visit will not only be a motivation for youth in sports, but it will give a new face to ZCD’s goals in providing all households with safe and clean drinking water, improving the health of the average Sierra Leonean. “WATER IS LIFE” is the motto that the people there live by.

“I am greatly delighted that Amare came to this post conflict country,” said ZCD Founder and Director Zainab Beckett, “and supported my foundation’s effort in promoting the welfare of the devastated and impoverished Sierra Leoneans. The work we have started with Amare’s Foundation in providing clean drinking water is a high priority for majority of the populace and has created a real impact on the lives of at risk communities that have benefitted.”

Ballers even here.