The NBA has stepped up around the country to help their communities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Players and owners have donated salaries to arena workers, while Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer offered up $25 million. The Kings even handed over Sleep Train Arena to the Army Corps of Engineers for a surge hospital, all as the NBA is doing its best to be part of the solution to the coronavirus epidemic.
Kings players Bogdan Bogdanovic and Nemanja Bjelica, along with the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation, jumped in the fray Tuesday to help their native Serbia.
The group is stepping up to help purchase ventilators, medical-grade masks and supplies for hospitals and medical professionals in Serbia, according to the team’s official press release.
“I am inspired by all those across the NBA and around the world who have given back to individuals hardest hit by this crisis, which is why it was important to me to support the people back home by providing these supplies to help save lives,” Bogdanovic said in the release. “I want to thank the brave medical professionals who are working hard every day to treat everyone affected by the coronavirus. I know that soon we will get through this difficult time together.”
Bogdanovic, Bjelica and the Divacs are in lockdown in Sacramento, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help out around the globe. Following Divac's footsteps, both Bogdanovic and Bjelica currently play for the Serbian national team and much of their family still live in the Baltic country.
“I am proud to donate these important resources to assist the heroic frontline workers who are battling COVID-19 and support patients in need of these life-saving supplies back home,” Bjelica said via the press release. “During this time, health and safety is the top priority and we are honored to lend a helping hand.”
The Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation, established in 2007, primarily focuses on helping refugees and internally displaced people in Serbia. They have shifted their efforts on providing medical supplies during the coronavirus outbreak.
This is all part of the Kings’ “In this Together” effort. Not only have they donated the Sleep Train property, but the franchise plans to donate $250,000 to local community organizations and they have donated 100,000 medical-grade masks to state and city health agencies.