By Jason Thompson, a forward for the defending champion Warriors who’s a regular contributor for SportsBlog.com, a content partner of the NBPA that focuses on first-person stories with pro athletes
I am feeling very thankful this Thanksgiving. In addition to good health, I am really thankful to be in the successful situation that I am in with the Golden State Warriors. You’d think that a team coming off of a Championship would have a Championship hangover or something like that, but this is team is resilient with an amazing work ethic…and because of that, we are on the brink of history. But I don’t know that we’ll be able to really appreciate it until we reach our ultimate goal of getting a Championship.
Even though I played these guys head-to-head four times a year in the past, this group welcomed me with open arms and showed me the ropes since day one, which has definitely made my transition easier. It’s unfortunate that Coach Kerr has been out, but I think Coach Walton has been doing a great job and has been a big spark, especially for a first-time head coach. I’m definitely blessed to be in this type of situation.
I’m not just taking this all for granted and going home. I am blessed to be in a position where I can help others. Doing community work isn’t about telling my story or getting media attention, but as athletes, we come from different backgrounds and understand a lot about what it’s like to struggle. So when you are in a successful situation, it’s important to give back to those who are working so hard just to try and put food on the table. As a result of our success on the court, you also want to try to help others to be successful as well.
I’m humbled to be able to do this through the Jason Thompson Foundation (http://thejasonthompsonfoundation.com/), which was established about five years ago in honor of my cousin Tiffany Carroll, who passed away unexpectedly at the age of 25 from a heart disease called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). We are teaching kids to eat healthy at a young age so they can avoid heart disease, diabetes, obesity, etc. Our work started in New Jersey, where we were all born and raised, and then branched out to Philly and to the places I’ve played.
Now that I’m with the Warriors, I’m enjoying giving back to the Oakland community. I’m trying to do different things. Just yesterday, our Foundation teamed up with the Oakland Police Department and Maryann Mitchell (who’s been doing this for 25 years) to give out turkeys and canned goods to area families in-need. I don’t just write checks; I like to be hands-on and deliver the food to the houses myself. Hopefully the food we distributed will not only be for Thanksgiving, but will last these families a couple months as well.
Yesterday was overwhelming. There was so much media and attention, especially because of our winning streak. But like I said, I don’t do this for the media. I do it from my heart. I’m committed to doing whatever I can to make families smile and have a great holiday. Next month I’m doing a toy drive, where I’ll be giving out $150 gift cards to families in-need to help them have a great Christmas. There’s definitely more to come, and I just want to make sure my Foundation keeps getting bigger and better ever year.
I truly appreciate #DubNation, the Warriors fans and family, and thank you all for your support and bringing me in with open arms. I know it’s been a spectacular start, but we all know we want the ultimate goal of bringing another Championship to this city. We don’t take this for granted and are very excited and taking it one game at a time.
Happy Thanksgiving to all! I hope you have a blessed meal with your families. Never take time with your family for granted because you never know what the future holds. God bless and happy holidays!
Check out SportsBlog.com for more stories.