Former Southern University legend and NBA Champion
BATON ROUGE — Former Southern University basketball star and NBA Champion Avery Johnson is offering an Alabama-sized assist to the ongoing relief efforts centered around south Louisiana.
After speaking with Southern University interim athletics director and head men’s basketball coach Roman Banks, Johnson, who is currently serving as the head men’s basketball coach at Alabama, commissioned a semi-truck full of supplies, including water, soap, towels, clothes and more to be delivered to the F.G. Clark Activity Center.
“My heart goes out to all the residents of the Baton Rouge area that have been impacted by this devastating flood,” Johnson said. “I wanted to figure out an immediate way to help support the recovery efforts. In talking with Interim AD and men’s basketball coach Roman Banks, I decided I wanted to load up an 18-wheeler with as many supplies as we could possible fit on it and get it to Baton Rouge from Tuscaloosa immediately.”
The delivery truck is expected to arrive Thursday around 1:30 p.m. at the basketball arena where Johnson, a 1988 graduate of Southern University and a New Orleans native, made a name for himself as the NCAA’s assist leader on the court that presently bares his name.
“For many years, Avery Johnson has been the epitome of what our student-athletes inspire to be,” Banks said. “No matter what stage of life he is in, his love for Southern University and compassion for the people of Louisiana is evident. So, the magnitude of his generosity to assist the residents of Baton Rouge in whatever way possible comes as no surprise.
“We would like to extend our gratitude to Coach Johnson for the outpouring of love and support during this difficult time.”
The F.G. Clark Activity Center is presently housing approximately 200 evacuees, coordinated by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the American Red Cross.
Johnson vowed his help will not end there and that he will continue to play a big part to help his native area recover from the flooding.
“I will continue to be a part of the restoration efforts,” Johnson said. “This was just a small showing of love and support for a community that’s dear to my heart. I’m proud to be a 1988 graduate of Southern University and I wanted to let people down there know we are thinking and praying for the entire community.”
The Southern University System Foundation, in cooperation with the University administration, has established the Southern University Flood Relief Fund, to provide assistance to University students and employees that have been significantly impacted by historic area flooding.
Donations may be made here: https://netcommunity.sus.edu/pages/flood-relief-fund.