The Phoenix Suns organization has always given back to the community. These donations, scholarships and events get a press release, just like any Suns activity, but they don't get covered like the bigger, juicier stories.
However, I noticed some recent comments asking whether players do community work so here's a recent list of events the Suns have set up to give back to the community, either in terms of hands-on effort or cash or both.
Yesterday, former Suns player and current staffer Steven Hunter and the Gorilla surprised adoptive mother Carrie Jankowski with a whole pile of gifts in honor of Mothers Day, including a swag bag, tickets to a game and flowers. Jankowski has adopted both of her children.
On Tuesday, May 12, P.J. Tucker will donate $9,000 to the Boys and Girls Club after winning the Majerle Hustle Award this season. He grew up attending Boys and Girls Clubs in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Per the media release, Tucker, Dan Majerle and Suns broadcaster Tom Leander will host a basketball clinic and Get Fit Skit to teach Valley youth the importance of eating healthy and exercising regularly. The Gorilla and members of the Solar Squad will also partake in the festivities.
Enter for a chance to win a free Suns SixthMan membership for two (click here for details, worth at least $1,300) by picking the Suns draft position after the lottery (held on May 19). Of course the Suns are most likely to draft 13th, but you can pick 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 13th or 14th. Those who picked the correct draft position will enter a drawing for these free memberships.
Enter here: Suns.com/DraftLottery. Winner is announced on May 20, the day after the lotto balls bounce.
Every year, the Suns host basketball camps during the summer. This year, Suns center Alex Len will appear at two different basketball camps in June. The camps, held in late June in Phoenix and Prescott, offer one-on-one coaching to kids from 6-17 years old.
Suns forward Danny Granger and other Suns staffers helped build developmental equipment as the Suns donated the money. Southwest Human Development, Arizona's largest nonprofit dedicated to early childhood development, won the Suns' inaugural "Charity Challenge" this year.
Per the Suns:
Local charitable organizations that serve children and families were encouraged to apply for the "Charity Challenge" program, which began with the organizations selecting a Suns game they would like to attend between March 11 and April 14. The Suns donated complimentary tickets (in increments of 50) to qualifying organizations, with the organizations receiving one raffle ticket for every 50 game tickets requested. Those with a 90 percent show rate at their respective game became eligible for the drawing.
Back in April, the Suns awarded 13 scholarships to in-state colleges and universities. The scholarships were judged on their community involvement, scholastic performance, letters of recommendation and an essay on how the scholarship will help them build a future they envision for themselves.