Lonzo Ball gives back through young father gift giveaway


While the Chicago Bulls continue their current four-game road trip with a stop in Atlanta to face the Hawks, Lonzo Ball is at home, rehabilitating following left knee surgery in September.

But in the spirit of the holiday season, he is also filling his days by giving back.

On Tuesday morning, Ball spent multiple hours at Carter's, a baby and kids' apparel brand near Chicago's Old Town neighborhood, for a charity event with Fathers Families & Healthy Communities, an organization which strives to empower and improve the quality of life of young fathers looking to support their children.

"I have a daughter, so it related to me," Ball said of the partnership. "Christmas time is for the kids. For me to be able to help and give back a little bit and make their day a little brighter, I feel like that's my job."

During the event, Ball helped seven young fathers select Christmas gifts for their respective family members, snapping selfies and shaking hands along the way.

Ball also personally donated $400 for each father to shop with, plus purchased a table full of clothes and toys for shoppers to choose from, free of charge. With the $100 Carter's donated for each family, the fathers that attended the event had $500 each to spend on gifts.

Ball said the event came together when he approached the Bulls looking for a way to give back. Their Chicago Bulls Charities vertical made the connection.

And, according to Fathers Families & Healthy Communities executive director Dr. Clinton Boyd Jr., it makes all the difference.

"The holidays typically is a time of stress and anxiety for [young fathers] because of their inability to financially support their children in ways that are personally meaningful," Boyd said. "Having somebody like Lonzo — who is a father himself, a young father, in fact — his willingness to give back to the community in this way is something that we greatly appreciate. We'll look for other opportunities to partner with him."

Ball joked that although he has already Christmas shopped for his four-year-old daughter, he would bring her back to Carter's after perusing their selection.

"Anything that's yellow or pink, she's pretty easy with it," he said with a smile.

The even as a whole resonated with Ball.

"For me, it means a lot," he said. "I can relate to these fathers in here. We're all pretty much going through the same thing. Christmas time, you want to bring the most joy you can to your children. For me to be able to help, I feel like that's just my responsibility."

Mission accomplished.

"Just seeing people happy," Ball said when asked his favorite part of the event. "The holidays are all about laughter and being with the family and having a good time. I think this starts it off right."

RELATED: Lonzo Ball's rehab timeline uncertain, but progress made

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