Jordan, Bobcats give $250k to CMS for middle school sports

Published: Aug. 29, 2010 at 4:31 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2010 at 4:18 PM EDT
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By: Andre Dykes

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) Michael Jordan retired from the NBA credited with 5,633 assists. In basketball, an assist is credited to the team member who passed the ball to another team member who then scores a basket.

Monday, Jordan and Bobcats Sports & Entertainment will be credited with another type of assist that is sure to score points with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) and their middle school student-athletes. This is one in the form of a $250,000.00 check.

Bobcats Sports & Entertainment (BSE) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Jordan announced Sunday that the organization donated to a CMS scholarship fund to help defray the costs of middle school athletics this academic year.

The donation is reported to be the largest ever made by a professional sports franchise to CMS, and the largest single donation CMS has received to date in response to budget cuts.

"We recognize the important role that sports plays in the lives of children at a critical time in their physical and emotional maturation," said Jordan. "As an organization committed to bringing positive and lasting change to our community in the areas of education, fitness and youth development, we're compelled to help educators who are forced to make impossible decisions with their budgets by doing what we can to ensure every student-athlete has the opportunity to compete in school sports this year."

"This community partnership will help many of our students increase their achievement at school in sports and in the classroom," said CMS Superintendent Dr. Peter C. Gorman. "We are glad to have partners like this who value public education, and we thank the Bobcats for this donation."

Students like Reggie Smith are grateful for the donation.  He says it will give him and his friends the chance to continue to play sports.

"It's more helpful that I can play," Smith said.  "Instead of worrying about if I can play or not."

Middle school athletes will have to pay $50 per sport and high school students $100 per sport.

Smith believes with the donations students will do better in school.

"It just helps us," the CMS middle school athlete said.  "'Cause we know if we don't get the right grades, then we can't play."

Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace thinks giving the money is a good move.

"I think this gives kids an opportunity," Wallace said.  "To keep their dreams alive and give them something to look forward to."

Bobcats leaders say they are committed to CMS. But they are not sure if they will continue to give the money annually. They will assess the need again next year.

Bobcats Sports Entertainment contributed to some of the information in this article.

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