Tobias Harris has developed a reputation as one of the nicer players in the NBA. He’s not only a good teammate who leaves a mark on every team he plays for, but he also conducts himself generously off the court. This summer, Harris signed a lucrative extension with the 76ers. He celebrated by donating a hefty sum of money back into the Philadelphia community.
Tobias Harris’s donation
Harris kicked off the NBA season by donating $1 million to nine charities across the city. Getting help from the community, he announced the nine charities at a “draft” at a local prep school. Counting down from nine to one, he gave each nonprofit donations ranging from $25,000 to $300,000.
This generous act comes as no surprise to fans who’ve followed Harris throughout his career. “I want them to also know it’s not just what we do on the court,” Harris told ABC 6. “[But] show them there’s love that goes right back off the court [by] doing things like this, and letting them know there’s a lot of things that I’m really focusing on outside of basketball for our youngsters and our youth and our young up-and-comers in the world.”
Lots of the money went toward education, with a specific emphasis on reading — something Harris holds in high regard. “I truly believe knowledge is power,” he explained. “And I want, really, kids to understand … [it] is OK to walk around with a book, and being OK with reading. That [reading] is cool. You don’t have to think that isn’t cool, and that education isn’t cool.”
Harris’s NBA contributions
The way the 27-year-old conducts himself off-court is an added bonus to the way Harris competes. With Kawhi Leonard back in the Western Conference, the 76ers have a great opportunity to get past the hurdles that barred them from the Finals last year.
Harris doesn’t need to dominate the ball to be effective. His ability to get 18-20 points per game without sacrificing his teammates’ production makes his place with the Sixers an ideal situation. Harris is able to grab rebounds, play a little power forward, and even make plays when the time is right.
As a 76er last season, Harris averaged 18 points, eight rebounds, and just under three assists. The 76ers may have received a vital piece with the trade, especially with the offseason departure of Jimmy Butler.
Headlines are often dominated by the athletes who do wrong while players like Harris continue to do good work behind the scenes. Sometimes, life is about more than just who can hit a three-pointer or get the big block.
With NBA players like Harris putting money into education, the next generation of stars can get the assistance they need, and the world is a better place because of it.