Joel Embiid and Under Armour Basketball surprised the youth of the NE Frankford Boys & Girls Club in Philadelphia with an evening of on-court activities to celebrate the community through the game of basketball. In the spirit of giving back, both pledged to return together and refurbish an area of the club in need.
Joel and Under Armour Basketball are back, with a dedication event to unveil a brand new basketball court, bleachers and scoreboard. The refurbished indoor court provides a safe place for the youth of the club to learn, play and grow through basketball.
Recognizing the opportunities and pathways to success the club offers its youth and having witnessed that impact firsthand, Joel was reminded of his late brother, Arthur Embiid.
Growing up, Joel was the eldest of three children and was particularly close to his brother. The two would play video games together and compete in other areas, as brothers do. Shortly after Joel was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers, Arthur tragically passed away in a car accident at just 13 years old. Arthur had a generous heart and would “borrow” things from the family’s home in Cameroon – items like clothes and food – and give them to the kids around the neighborhood whose families he knew were struggling. Arthur was wise beyond his years, and at such a young age inspired Joel, who dedicates The Arthur Embiid Athletics Court at the NE Frankford Boys & Girls Club in Philadelphia in loving memory of his little brother.
The unveil of the newly minted court brought communities together from across Philadelphia for a celebration centered around basketball. Joel introduced the girls and boys basketball teams from Imhotep Charter School, an institution featuring an African-centered curriculum and culture. The players were joined on court by the club’s youth for a freestyle showcase, skills challenges and 3 point contest. Both the players from Imhotep and the Boys & Girls Club received pairs of the upcoming UA Anatomix Spawn 2 footwear release. The Sixers co-ed dance team performed, keeping the energy amped in the gym alongside Sixers’ emcee Christian Crosby.
Being from Africa and seeing the way I grew up and the way people around me grew up, I feel it’s on me to make it happen and to help change people’s lives. My brother meant a lot to me and to my family, so it was only right after his death to dedicate this court to him.– Joel Embiid
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