Going back to school can be a challenging time of the year for all children, but that challenge is even greater for some, especially those who can’t afford school supplies. Washington Wizards’ star point guard John Wall wants to fix that. Wall, along with his charitable organization, the John Wall Family Foundation, hosts an annual end-of-summer party.
On August 18 at the Rosedale Recreation Center in North East Washington D.C., Wall threw a field day for 250 D.C. public school students. Along with getting to spend time with the Wizards’ point guard, kids were given a backpack full of school supplies. “It’s an honor and a blessing to be able to be in a position to give back,” said Wall. “I’m the type of person who likes to be here and be involved with the kids. I’m ready to be done giving them their backpacks so we can run around and catch some footballs and jump in the moonbounce.”
“It’s a really nice opportunity for the kids out here,” said D.C. mom Kayvona H. “They have so many different activities. The moonbounces, the food. You can meet new friends. You can meet John Wall while you are here. It’s a good event.”
Wall brings in organizations like the DC Public Library to reinforce to kids that reading is just as important as sports.
The point guard even included his love of dogs in the event. Wall, as he puts it, “has a thing for dogs.” He has three pit bulls and two French bulldogs. He invited the Humane Rescue Alliance, D.C.’s animal rescue league, to set up a booth. They brought two dogs, who probably didn’t realize that they were having a once-in-a-lifetime experience when they were hanging out with John Wall. The dogs refused to leave the tent and remained lying down in the shade for the entire event. But hey, when it’s 109° outside, nobody wants to leave the shade.
Despite the heat, kids enjoyed the event. “I love taking a picture with John Wall,” said 14-year-old, Zion M. “It’s good meeting him because I want to be in the NBA one day.”
“My favorite part is being able to talk to John Wall and get free book bags. To know he’s actually doing something for this community,” said D.C. kid Jafhia G.
Wall cares about how he’s seen in the D.C. community. “I just want these kids to understand that no matter where you start at or where you go to, you can be anything in life,” he said. “It may not be a professional basketball player. It might be a doctor or a nurse, but if that’s what you want to be, lock in and set your goal for it and work hard every day.”
Photographs by Ned Dishman