Two-time NBA Finals MVP and new Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard returned to his elementary school alma mater Tuesday and announced a donation of 1 million backpacks for every student in the Moreno Valley, Inglewood and Los Angeles school districts.
“My goal this year is to make a meaningful contribution both on and off the court,” Leonard said in a statement released by the Clippers. “This felt like the right way to get started. It was important to me to make this announcement in my hometown of Moreno Valley at my former elementary school, but the benefits this program will have across all of Los Angeles makes today even more special.”
The donation is being made by Leonard in conjunction with the L.A. Clippers Foundation and the nonprofit Baby2Baby. According to the Clippers, the backpacks will be made available to every student in the Moreno Valley, Inglewood and Los Angeles unified school districts.
After making the initial announcement at his former school, Cloverdale Elementary School in Moreno Valley, Leonard traveled to South Los Angeles to spread the news at 107th Street Elementary School, where he was joined by Baby2Baby “ambassadors” Zooey Deschanel, Busy Philipps and Nicole Richie.
Clippers officials said the donation is the largest ever offered to the LAUSD, available to every student in the nation’s second-largest school district.
“There are a lot of families throughout the L.A. region working hard every day to earn everything in their lives,” said Gillian Zucker, the Clippers’ president of business operations. “This program is our effort to extend a hand to make heading back to school a little easier.”
Leonard was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Moreno Valley. He signed with the Clippers in July, shortly after winning an NBA title with the Toronto Raptors.