Several NBA players have participated in initiatives designed to empower youth through education and one of the latest individuals to do so is the Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo. Adebayo recently helped surprise students at a Miami-based tutoring program with tools needed to bridge the digital divide.
The basketball star teamed up with AT&T, Connected Nation—a nonprofit dedicated to bridging broadband and digital technology gaps that exist throughout the country—and the NBA for the effort. As part of the social good project, the after-school program received digital devices and hotspots for the next school year so they can continue to further their learning at the center and at home. The afterschool program is one of more than 100 nonprofits and schools that will receive wireless hotspots and digital learning tools as part of AT&T’s $2 billion commitment over the next 3 years to address the digital divide. Last year the NBA and AT&T created a matching campaign where $100K was donated to Connected Nation.
Charlene Lake, Chief Sustainability Officer and SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility at AT&T, says the socio-economic factors that contribute to the digital divide were clearly exacerbated by the pandemic which prompted AT&T to create the initiative. “For so many students, our nation’s schools and nonprofit organizations are their only source for social connections and resources for remote learning that have become so vital for future success,” she said in a statement. “The pandemic has made clear the nation has more work to do to ensure equitable outcomes, and we’re proud to continue our support for those making a difference to students most at risk.”
This is one of a few projects centered on the digital divide that an NBA player has led or supported. In the midst of the pandemic, Russell Westbrook donated 650 computers to underprivileged students in Houston. Bradley Beal donated laptops to the Washington, D.C.-based Ron Brown College Preparatory High School.