By now, you should know Jonathon Simmons’ incredible journey to the NBA. The Houston native, who grew up in one of the cities’ toughest neighborhoods, played at two junior colleges before starring at the University of Houston and going undrafted in the 2012 Draft.
He played in the G-League, for multiple Summer League teams and even the semi-pro American Basketball League until he got his shot with the Spurs. This summer, he cashed in, signing a 3-year, $20 million deal with the Magic.
The story you might not have heard yet about Simmons is that he was in his hometown during this week’s devastating Hurricane Harvey and needed to be rescued by boat — which was helmed by Houston rapper Trae tha Truth. John Denton, of the Magic’s official team website, has the details:
“There was at least 20 people in the house and probably eight of them were kids,’’ Simmons added. “When I was little, my mom always kept the fridge full of stuff (during hurricanes). This time, I ate a pack of ramen noodles and that’s all for like a day-and-a-half.’’
The house where Simmons was staying never had water come inside thanks to its positioning on a hill, but flooding did get within 10 feet of the front door. Across the street, however, people there weren’t nearly as lucky and they had to seek other shelter right away. Simmons said the house where he was staying never lost power, allowing him to watch the heartbreaking television coverage of the flood waters swamping Houston.
Simmons was then rescued by rapper Trae tha Truth, who has been going around Houston on his boat and helping people escape to safety:
When the food supplies disappeared, Simmons knew that he had to get his family and friends to safety as soon as possible. Luckily for him, rapper Trae the Truth – a fellow Houston native – came to the rescue.
“Trae tha Truth, the rapper, is from Houston and we know a mutual friend from San Antonio. They brought a boat to Houston because (Trae) had to evacuate as well,’’ Simmons said of the rapper, who has gained additional notoriety recently in Houston for helping dozens of others evacuate flooded areas. “They came and got (Trae) and then he came and got us right away. Luckily, I had a friend in the area who could help us out.’’
The effects from Harvey will still affect Houston and the surrounding areas for the days, weeks, months and maybe even years to come, so Simmons told Denton he wants to help his city any way he can, like how Trae the Truth helped him. Around the NBA, he’s not alone.
Rockets owner Les Alexander has already committed $10 million to the recovery effort while other owners, teams and players — across all major leagues — have made similar gestures.