Daily Sports Smile: Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam donates $25,000 to local sneaker-based charity

Jan 31, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) walks off of the court after their win against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports+

Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam is making a difference in the local community. Through his foundation, Siakam partnered with local Toronto sneaker-based charity, Kickback, to help raise funds and provide sneakers for children around the world.

Siakam donated $25,000 and 30 sneakers to the organization. Kickback aims to provide sneakers to children over the world. So far, the non-profit has collected over 10,000 shoes and made an impact since 2016.

The Raptors star announced the partnership on his social media account. He expressed his excitement towards the organization for their great work. He spoke about the importance of shining a light and helping youth break barriers towards adequate footwear access.

“It’s cool to have cool sneakers and I think sometimes the basic necessities, we don’t have them,” Siakam said in the announcement video. “What you guys have been able to do in helping kids and giving them an opportunity, whether it’s in sports or kicks to go to school kind of minimize that. We don’t know how important that is. I definitely commend you guys for doing that.”

Siakam has done a lot of work in the local community. His foundation aims to make a difference for young kids through education. The mission is driven by one significant principle to dream big in all endeavors.

Last year, Siakam partnered with local organizations to launch a Coding for Champions program. The course focused on helping middle schoolers learn information technology skills and develop the necessary web building skills.

Kickback founder Jamal Burger was overjoyed to work alongside Siakam. He told Complex Canada that being recognized by the NBA star was a rewarding acknowledgement.

“It’s a surreal feeling to experience when one of our city’s greatest heroes recognizes what we’re doing,” Burger told Complex Canada. “Kickback is the community as a whole, and this donation makes it clear that PS43 and Pascal cares about the kids. My optimism is on high when thinking about the future knowing that our kids’ favorite player will play a huge part in our impact.”

This season, Siakam has averaged 21.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.1 assists. Entering Monday, he is shooting 47.7 percent from the field. 

He was recently named Eastern Conference Player of the Week after leading the Raptors to four consecutive wins.