After spending 11 years in the NBA―nine with the New York Knicks, another with the Spurs and one final season with the Chicago Bulls―Trent Tucker has dedicated his life to making a difference as a philanthropist. An NBA Champion with Chicago Bulls in 1993, Tucker is a firm believer that education is an important steppingstone to a successful professional career, and has championed this cause since setting up his foundation 12 years ago.
In this first of a two-series interview, Ib Talk Online Executive Editor Ibrahim Dabo caught up with Tucker by telephone and had an enlightening discussion about his foundation and activities. Tucker also talked exclusively about his upcoming Welcome Dinner and Celebrity Golf Outing on June 26 and June 27, respectively, in collaboration with the Children’s Cancer & Blood Foundation, the largest and oldest charitable organization in the United States committed to the care of children suffering from blood diseases and cancers.
IBRAHIM DABO: Tell us about the Welcome Dinner and Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament hosted by the All For Kids Foundation.
TRENT TUCKER: Yes!
IBRAHIM DABO: Tell us why is it important for people to support All 4 Kids Foundation?
Because as a young person when I was growing up… we all need someone to be there for us at a time of need, a mentor or someone in place to make sure that young people will have a chance to move in the right direction. I’m working also with the Children’s Cancer & Blood Foundation, another wonderful organization and I want to make sure half of the proceeds [from the Welcome Dinner and Celebrity Golf Tournament] go to that organization. They are doing some great work in terms of working with kids who are experiencing sensitive issues like cancer and blood diseases. So it’s the two foundations coming together to collaborate in New York City to do some good for all people who are in need.
IBRAHIM DABO: In October 2010, the Children’s Cancer & Blood Foundation honored you with its Breakthrough Spirit Award. You are continuing to support this organization through a meaningful and collaborative effort as you just mentioned. What does it mean to support children who are suffering from cancer and blood diseases?
TRENT TUCKER: I think anytime you are in a position to help someone in a situation that needs help, and it doesn’t matter where they come from, it is important to do so. If you can be a part of making their situation better―or if a group of people are willing to commit their time and effort―then that makes a difference. The Children’s Cancer & Blood Foundation has a wonderful team and group of people to be involved with. No one person or organization can do it by themselves. It takes a total team effort and everybody coming together to make it work.
IBRAHIM DABO: Who are some of the celebrities who will be in attendance at the Welcome Dinner and golf tournament?
TRENT TUCKER: Charles Oakley, BJ Armstrong, Patrick Ewing, Kris Humphries, Howard Cross, and Byron Scott, just to name a few, are all expected to participate.
* Exclusive Interview Part I: NBA Champion Trent Tucker Empowers Youngsters to Focus on Education through the All 4 Kids Foundation
* EXCLUSIVE FEATURE: NBA Champion Trent Tucker to Host Welcome Dinner in New York City & Celebrity Golf Outing in New Jersey