Daily Sports Smile: James Harden surprises youth and helps paint local Harlem playground

Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden, who has been out with a hamstring injury, takes the ball from a trainer while warming up before Game 5 of the team's second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports+

Brooklyn Nets star James Harden surprised local youth in New York City this week. Harden helped partnered with Publicolor to help low-income students paint a playground in Harlem.

Harden helped paint and inspire the students. He left a heartfelt message to continue pushing towards your goals each day.

“Keep pushing. Every day isn’t going to be perfect,” Harden told the group.

Publicolor is a non-profit organization that specializes in youth development. The organization mentors NYC students for success in school, life, college and their careers.

Harden told local NBC 4 New York that partnering and helping kids was something he had missed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“That is something that I’ve been missing in this last year and a half since we have been basically on lockdown,” Harden said. “I was real big on that in Houston and now just to be in front of these kids and inspiring them. I was in their position as just a kid trying to figure out life. Hopefully, I can inspire them to be something great.”

Harden is back for his second season with the Brooklyn Nets. He is a part of a talented roster that includes Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The Nets look to make a run at the NBA title after falling short during the 2020-2021 NBA playoffs.