Garnett donates $1.2 million to Katrina relief fund

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Garnett
is joining the long list of professional athletes who are donating
to victims of Hurricane Katrina -- in a big, big way.

Garnett is donating $1.2 million to build homes for victims in
the New Orleans area and throughout the Gulf Coast region that was
leveled by the hurricane in August.

"I knew I wanted to do something," Garnett said after practice
Friday. "But I didn't know in detail what I wanted to do."

Garnett is teaming with Oprah Winfrey's Angel Network charity
foundation on the project. Garnett said he chose Winfrey's
foundation because 100 percent of his donation will go toward the

"The fact that she pays the overhead of her employees and the
foundation itself and just goes out and makes dreams come true ...
I think it makes it more beneficial," Garnett said. "It's a good

The former MVP certainly has the means at his disposal to make
an impact. He has twice signed NBA contracts topping $100 million,
in addition to his millions in endorsement deals.

Garnett said he has always been a big fan of giving to charity
even dating back to his days growing up poor in Mauldin, S.C., but
he never dreamed of one day being able to make such a sizable

"I never would have imagined it being on this kind of scale,"
Garnett said. "Even back in school, whether it was 10 cents or 20
cents to get an extra milk or an extra tea, that's just the way I

"I'm from the bottom, I understand what it's like to have and
to not have. My perception on giving is to put yourself in those
people's shoes and go from there. So that's what I did."

Though he does not have any family members or close friends who
were directly affected by the disaster, Garnett said he felt a
kinship with the victims.

"I'm from the South, though, and I know how hard the South
is," Garnett said. "A lot of things that go on up North, there's
a lot more opportunity. In the South, there's not as much
opportunity and I know it's going to be a dramatic and drastic
transition to turn that city around."

His donation will build one house a month for the next two years
and was featured on Winfrey's talk show on Thursday. Garnett did
not appear live on the show, but did tape a vignette to surprise
Winfrey, who was clearly appreciative of the gift.

"It's just good to know that people actually appreciate when
you do give," Garnett said. "I'm not the one for a lot of
publicity, I'm not one to put myself out there with what I do, but
in this case, I hope that it motivates others to give."