A day after arriving in Philadelphia after a week-long preseason trip to China, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid were out giving back to their communities.
The first stop for Simmons was William Cramp Elementary School in Kensington, a designated Community School by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.
Despite the 80-degree weather, Simmons was helping the kids gear up for winter, handing out brand new coats with Operation Warm, a national nonprofit that creates high-quality coats for children in need.
“There have been far too many children in the past that haven’t come to school in the winter, because they don’t have a coat,” principal Deanda Logan said. “We are so appreciative.”
But, it was really the time and attention that Simmons was giving to the kids that made all the difference.
Whether he was shagging balls for the students that were trying to impress him with their jump shots or laughing with them as they were poking his biceps, the best part about the day was the genuine smiles on the kids' faces.
(And this isn’t just me saying this because it was a community event — watch this video and see for yourself).
And I wasn’t kidding about the biceps…
For Embiid, his first stop was to the local Boys & Girls Club in Northeast Frankford.
After announcing his new partnership with Under Armour (see story) and passing out goodies in the parking lot, Embiid made his way into the gym to hang out with 200 local kids.
“As far as being in the community, helping people — people that don’t have a lot or anything at all, just me giving back here is the first step,” Embiid said.
As the kids chanted, "Trust The Process," Embiid had a message for them.
“My main thing is also that you gotta stay humble. Being from Africa, I learned that … At 16 years old, I left my whole family. I didn’t know how to speak English, I came to a country that I didn’t really know anything about. I just want to show them that anything is possible.”