NBA rookie Lonnie Smith IV has been in the league for just a month and hasn’t played a regular-season game yet, but he’s already made his first important assist.
The new member of the San Antonio Spurs just donated $30,000 worth of sneakers to a youth basketball league in his hometown of Reading, Penn.
As reported by the Reading Eagle, the Blacktop Basketball League was blessed with 300 pairs of new Adidas sneakers to distribute throughout the program. The shoes came compliments of Walker, who signed an endorsement deal with Adidas upon being drafted by San Antonio in June, and Eric Wise, an executive with the sportswear brand. Wise’s connection to the generous donation is that he is also a native of Reading.
Wise played high school football and basketball for the Reading Red Knights before graduating in 1996 and has followed Walker’s sports career ever since the now-NBA rookie led the school to the 2017 state championship and went on to play for the Miami Hurricanes in college. With the hometown connection and seeing Walker’s potential to become a star at the professional level, Wise pushed fellow brand executives to sign Walker to Adidas.
Now the potential star’s sneaker deal is paying off not only for himself but for his hometown’s youth basketball players. Including a Crazy BYW model, the sneakers will be distributed to players on the teams that reach the Blacktop league’s four championships games, to middle and high school student interns for the program and local youth players who are considered in need.
Along with Walker being a huge inspiration for kids in his hometown, Wise stated that he and Adidas have plans to continue their support of the Reading community on a long-term basis.