Shaun Livingston helps out family

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets point guard Shaun Livingston delivered his biggest assist of the season on Saturday in his hometown of Peoria, Ill., and the Ammerman family was on the receiving end.

On Nov. 17, a tornado touched down 15-20 minutes from where Livingston grew up in nearby Washington, leaving a path of devastation that killed 29 and injured 350.

The Ammerman family, which consists of mother Tammy and her three children -- sons Ethan and Simon, and daughter, Haven -- survived the tornado but lost their home as a result of its destruction.

"They were living in a small duplex," Livingston said. "In 10-15 seconds, their place was gone."

The Ammermans didn't have a basement, so Tammy and Haven were forced to hide under a little table.

"And they just looked up and pretty much the roof was gone, everything was gone, it was just dark out," Livingston said.

Livingston, on behalf of his foundation, decided to fly back home and surprise the family with a pizza party. He helped them out with some essentials: gift cards for Christmas, grocery cards, Nike shoes for the kids and some Nets gear -- including some autographed pictures.

According to the local ABC affiliate, Tammy Ammerman received a call from her children's school in Washington saying she needed to bring her kids to the Brewers Distributing Company in Peoria, but didn't give a reason why.

Tammy Ammerman was completely caught off guard.

"The outpouring of love from people we know, people we don't know and people who come up to me and give me things after we've had this experience. So it just means the world that so many people love and care for us and other people in this situation," she said, according to cinewsnow.com.

Livingston was glad he was able to provided a helping hand.

"It was great," Livingston said. "[Tammy Ammerman] kind of came to tears just being overwhelmed with joy ... just that we came back and helped. The kids knew who I was, so they were excited. It was just a great chance to spend Christmas time together, and let them know somebody cares about them in the tough times they were going through."

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.