Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson covering stadium workers' salaries for 30 days after NBA season halted
NEW ORLEANS - The 19-year-old New Orleans Pelicans basketball star, Zion Williamson, pledged to cover Smoothie King Center workers' salaries for the next 30 days after coronavirus fears suspended all upcoming NBA games.
Williamson made the announcement on his Instagram Friday afternoon, expressing his appreciation for the people of New Orleans, saying the city has been "incredibly welcoming and supportive" since beginning his journey.
Due to events being canceled or postponed, including Pelicans basketball games, Smoothie King Center employees are facing the economic impact of the coronavirus, Williamson explained. He added that many of the employees now faced with the hardships of COVID-19 are still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.
Williamson's rookie season has been an erratic one. The top NBA Draft pick had to sit out more than half the 2020 season after suffering a preseason injury. The NBA season was then suspended this week because of the coronavirus, a little over a month after he was finally cleared to play.
"I was drafted by the Pels last June, and some of the most special people I have met are those who work at the Smoothie King Center. These are the folks that make our games possible, creating the perfect environment for our fans and everyone involved in the organization."
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The people of New Orleans have been incredibly welcoming and supportive since I was Drafted by the Pels last June, and some of the most special people I have met are those who work at smoothie King Center. These are the folks who make our games possible, creating the perfect environment for our fans and everyone involved in the organization. Unfortunately, many of them are still recovering from long term challenges created by Katrina, and now face the economic impact of the postponement of games because of the virus. My mother has always set an example for me about being respectful for others and being grateful for what we have, and so today I am pledging to cover the salaries for all of those Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days. This is a small way for me to express my support and appreciation for these wonderful people who have been so great to me and my teammates and hopefully we can all join together to relieve some of the stress and hardship caused by this national health crisis. This is an incredibly resilient city full of some of the most resilient people, but sometimes providing a little extra assistance can make things a little easier for the community.
"My mother has always set an example for me about being respectful for others and being grateful for what we have..." Williamson said. "This is an incredibly resilient city full of some of the most resilient people, but sometimes providing a little extra assistance can make things a little easier for the community."
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