NBA superstar Steph Curry teamed up with Ellen DeGeneres to give a big boost to a local gym that’s been trying to help mentor young kids and adults for more than three decades.
The East Oakland boxing association has been around for more than 30 years and struggled for a lot of it.
It isn’t anything fancy, with minimal amenities, but for its members, the free boxing gym is a safe place to hang out doing something positive and making friends.
“This place is basically like my second home,” said Citlali Sanchez, member of the gym.
On Monday, the small local gym and its executive director’s non-profit work got a big surprise, all during an ordinary group exercise with the kids.
“I see the kids go crazy and I had no idea myself and I’m wondering, I’m looking at everybody like ‘what’s going on?’ and I turn around and Steph is touching my shoulder,” said Solomon Howard, the executive director of the East Oakland Boxing Association.
Curry, and his wife Ayesha, paid the gym members and Solomon a unexpected visit.
“It was just a moment that was super surreal,” said Howard. “A lot of the families can’t afford to go to a Warriors game. Some of them don’t even really have TVs or means to be able to watch a game either.”
to show their appreciation for his service to his community, they teamed up with Ellen to deliver a truck-full of gifts and supplies as part of Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways.
“New boxing equipment, new gym equipment, new stuff for our after-school program, for our cooking club, we have a garden in the back,” said Howard.
He said he looks forward to keeping the gym going for another 30 years and hopes the kids who train here will turn around and give back to their communities.
“Thank you, a lot, because we really needed it and thanks for making all the little kids happy,” said Sanchez.