Wizards and Mystics fans are used to hearing Tommy Sheppard and Mike Thibault talk hoops, but in a one-on-one conversation in the digital series "Level With Me," courtesy of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, they discussed a topic that's bigger than the game.
Two of the highest-ranking members in DC basketball each gave their biggest charity and why they're so passionate about it. Sheppard, the father of two American military officers, chose TAPS.
"TAPS, the Tragedy Assistant Program for Survivors is something that really resonates," Sheppard said. "I have two daughters that are both United States Marines, they're officers and one is currently deployed. Every day, people are protecting us and protecting our freedoms and those people need support when somebody falls and there's a family left behind.
"I can't say enough about TAPS," he said. "Their commitment to helping families and it resonates to see the impact on those families that are left behind."
Like Sheppard, who's one of seven children, Thibault is a product of a big family. Unfortunately, a genetic lung disease has heavily impacted his family, so fighting cystic fibrosis has always been Thibault's focus.
"I'm the oldest of nine kids," Thibault said. "In my family, unfortunately, I've had five siblings pass away with cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis for me is always going to be a background. I'm a carrier, my wife is not and it's been the focus of a lot of our charity work in the various places we've been."
Before Thibault stopped talking about his own focus on charity, he made sure to praise Wizards and Mystics players for their efforts off the court.
"You look at players on both of our teams that have been involved in various charities," he said. "And if you look and watch what our players do behind the scenes, there are not cameras following them, we have a great investment by a lot of our players."
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