The Missing Links for Kids: Gerald Henderson’s Annual Golf Invitational for Underserved Youth

(Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)

While at Madison Square Garden last weekend, the NBPA also caught up with Nik Stauskas’ teammate Gerald Henderson, who will be hosting his fourth annual charity golf invitational this summer, teaming up with fellow NBA players and former Duke teammates.

For the first time, Henderson will be holding the invitational in his hometown of Philadelphia at Green Valley Country Club, and the July 31 event will include an auction featuring NBA memorabilia. All of the proceeds will benefit the local Community Partnership School, which provides affordable education for elementary school children from the underserved North Central Philadelphia neighborhood, plagued by poverty and low rates of graduation.

The NBPA chatted with the eight-year NBA veteran to the learn more about his initiative and golf interests.

 

NBPA: What made you want to organize a charity golf event?

Gerald Henderson: I’ve always liked golf and liked to play. I’ve played in so many charity tournaments and celebrity tournaments in the past, so I just decided to get my own. And over the years, I’ve had it benefit a number of different charities, [including A Child’s Place and Playworks North Carolina]. It’s always for a good cause, and it’s always a lot of fun.

NBPA: How has the event made an impact on your life?

GH: I’m always a guy that likes to help out kids. I look at charities that have my interests, working for the things that I like to help. It’s normally underprivileged kids or kids in general.

NBPA: The event is typically held in Charlotte, but this year you have moved it to Philly. What prompted you to make such a move?

GH: I had it in Charlotte for three years and it was great every year. With my career and moving up to Philly, and me having a lot of connections still to this city and obviously playing here now, I just decided to move it. I think it’s going to be great this summer.

NBPA: What do you think is going to be the same and different about the invitational in Philly as opposed to Charlotte?

GH: We’ll probably have a lot of the same celebrities. [Some of last year’s participants were Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Richard Hamilton, Antawn Jamison, Nazr Mohammed, Buzz Peterson and Henderson’s father, Gerald Sr., who was a 13-year NBA veteran and three-time champion.] I think the support will still be the same. We’re able to probably average around $80-90,000 raising money every year, so our goal is that or better.

NBPA: Over the years, what has been your favorite course to play on?

GH: I’ve played a lot of courses. I’d probably say Torrey Pines in San Diego. I’ve played there, a few golf tournaments. It’s a beautiful course, a lot of holes on the ocean.

NBPA: If you could golf with anyone, who would it be and why?

GH: I’d like to play with [Barack] Obama. I’ve heard a lot of people have played with him. He is definitely somebody who I thought was a great President and his personality seems great.

NBPA: Who do you think would win?

GH: I think I could get him. I can’t say because I haven’t seen him play yet. Over the last eight years, he’s spent so much time being the President; I can’t imagine him being this scratch golfer. He’s been having fun. Maybe his game got better.

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