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NBA Star Bradley Beal Connected With DC Community

Photo Courtesy NBA

As a player for the Washington Wizards from 2012 to 2023, Bradley Beal was an exceptional representative of the Washington, D.C., professional sports scene. He has been praised for his jump shots, playmaking abilities, and philanthropy. 

Beal was active in the community, looking to improve the lives of the city’s youth through mentorship and basketball. He is now a member of the Phoenix Suns; however, let’s look back at some of Beal’s work. 

In April 2023, Beal and Monumental Sports & Entertainment teamed up with DC Central Kitchen, a food service organization that combats hunger in the nation’s capital. He donated $96,000 to the nonprofit, which supplied school meals for kids who rely on them for their daily food. The money provided more than 32,000 meals, around two months’ worth for food-insecure students. 

In June 2022, the shooting guard worked with the Hoop For All Foundation to refurbish an iconic D.C. outdoor basketball court, the Benjamin Banneker court in Ward 1. Beal made sure that happened. The ribbon-cutting ceremony, held during Juneteenth weekend, gave kids a nice place to hang out and practice their basketball skills. The Wizards hosted a basketball clinic for kids ages 6–14. Free health care resources were also provided. 

Photo Courtesy Steven Abraham

Hoop For All is known for its involvement with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The organization awards scholarships to high school seniors in the D.C. area attending an HBCU. 

“I’ve always wanted to work on a court project like this, and Hoop For All made it happen,” Beal said in an NBA news release. “I look forward to continuing to see the incredible work they do here in our community. Having this event take place during Juneteenth weekend is also special to me; our fight for social justice and equality continues.”

Perhaps the pinnacle of Beal’s philanthropic efforts in the nation’s capital was in 2019. That season, he won the NBA’s Community Assist award for his work with students and encouraging academic success. 

In September 2018, he served as principal of Ron Brown College Preparatory High School (RBHS) in the Kenilworth district of D.C., where he practiced with the basketball team and showed an early screening of the movie CREED II. In February 2019, he took the RBHS students to the National Museum of African American History and Culture and hosted a bowling party in May. 

Beal was awarded $25,000 to donate to his charity of choice. Beal joined former teammate John Wall as the second Wizards player to earn this honor in the 2010s. Wall won his in 2016, and the Wizards were the only team to have two players win the award. 

Beal told NBC Sports Washington that basketball shaped his perspective long before becoming a professional player. 

“It was an outlet, it was structure, it taught discipline,” he said. I feel like basketball will help with a lot of things in life: being coachable, being knowledgeable, [and] working as a team. It taught you a lot of things that you need on the daily. And on top of that, the most important thing, it’s fun.” 

Video Courtesy NBA

This drive carried over into the NBA. Last season, Beal averaged 23.2 points per game on 50% shooting. He suffered some injuries, limiting his action to 50 games last season. The Wizards missed the playoffs, and now, at age 30, Beal looked for a new team in the hopes of winning a championship. 

Now in Arizona, he joins a Suns team that includes Devin Booker, Jusur Nurkic, and all-time great Kevin Durant. Even though he’s gone, Beal’s work left a lasting impression on the D.C. area. He inspired many young men and women to pursue higher education and ensured those living in food security would not go hungry. D.C. will certainly miss Beal’s philanthropy. He was a fan favorite for his basketball skills and generosity.  

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