Blake Griffin dunks for dollars
Unless you have been living under a rock or on the dark side of the moon, you know that Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin is the 2011 NBA slam dunk champion. On Saturday night, Griffin defied gravity and scared half the Clippers franchise by jumping over a 2011 Kia Optima, with Baron Davis in it, to win the title.
But what I bet you didn't know is that although Griffin dunks as though he has no regard for human life or his body, he actually does care about others.
For each time Griffin dunks in a game this season, he will donate $100 to the Dunking for Dollars campaign to fight childhood obesity. This is the same cause that first lady Michelle Obama champions.
"I think it's just important to be active as a kid. Growing up, that's all my brother and I did," Griffin says. "We were always outside playing some kind of game, whatever it was. Sometimes we would make up games."
The Nestlé Foundation has partnered with Griffin to match what he raises dollar for dollar. To see the good in this campaign, try to look past the irony of a company that produces calorie-laden chocolate bars joining the fight against childhood obesity.
"For me personally, fitness in general is big, and it was part of my major in college," Griffin says. "I've seen a huge growth in childhood obesity, and obviously it has become a problem."
Griffin has made 137 dunks so far this season, generating a total of $13,700, according to his website's dunk tracker. The number of times he dunks per game would have you believe he is dunking just for the kids. According to his dunk tracker, he is averaging 2.4 dunks per game.
Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo has teamed up with sponsor Red Bull on a similar performance-based charity program. For every steal Rondo makes this season, Red Bull will donate $500 to the operating budget of the Boston Parks and Recreation Department.
As for Griffin, he hopes to contribute much more to Dunking for Dollars this season. In keeping with his style of dunking, there is no ceiling to the amount of money he wants to raise.
On his website, he says of his program: "Hopefully it can raise a lot of money, because you know I am always trying to take it to the rack."
So the next time you see Griffin embarrass a defender with a dunk so sick it would make your mama cry and then walk away with a stone-cold expression on his face, remember: He's doing it for the kids.