Daily Sports Smile: NBA All-Star Game raises $750,000 for local Cleveland organizations

Feb 20, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA;  Team LeBron forward LeBron James shoots the ball during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports+

The stars were out during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night. Several legends were in the building for the celebration of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team. Hall of Famers from Michael Jordan to Allen Iverson were honored at halftime.

The game was just as special. Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry scored 50 points and made 16 three-pointers en route to the All-Star Game MVP. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James shined back in his hometown. 

However, the real winners were the local Cleveland organizations. Team LeBron and Team Durant represented the Kent State I Promise Scholars program and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank respectively. 

Team LeBron raised $450,000 for the Kent State I Promise Scholars program. The local organization helps provide educational opportunities to underserved students in Northeast Ohio.

James founded the I Promise program early in his career. He has helped many kids go to college over the years. The additional funds will help students receive necessary items to continue their higher education.

Team Durant raised $300,000 for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. The local group aims to ensure that communities have access to nutritious food and resources. According to the official website, the food bank helps serve 343,000 people across multiple counties.

Earlier in the week, the NBA supported families in need. Volunteers helped the food bank pack lunches and donate over 1,000 backpacks during a Day of Service.

James reflected on the entire All-Star Game experience. He secured a 163-160 victory with a game-winning jump shot. It was a poetic finish after spending multiple years with the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

"I remember 25 years ago we were 12, 11, wishing that we had the opportunity or the means to come up to Cleveland and watch some of the greatest basketball players of all time because they inspired us so much," James told local reporters after the game. "For me to be here today, my best friends to be here, my wife, my kids, my mom and so many people that have seen me grow from really a young talent to where I am today, I couldn’t picture that moment any better."

The NBA will resume regular-season play on Feb. 24. There will be seven games on the return slate with the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets drawing the primetime matchup.