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Grizzlies Marc Gasol spent his summer helping to save lives

Marc Gasol, Grizzlies

We often hear of NBA players going on vacation and working out in the summer time, but Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol experienced something a bit more profound.

Working with volunteers from Proactiva Open Arms, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping refugees from Syria, Gasol flew to Malta and volunteered for a mission. Gene Wojciochowski, a senior writer from ESPN, shared this quote from the former Defensive Player of the Year:

“It’s something that I truly believe in and something that I really feel,” says Gasol, who didn’t ask the Grizzlies for their blessing to take the trip, nor did he provide the team details of what it entailed. “Probably won’t be the same guy after the mission. And I’m aware of that, and I’m OK with that.”

Despite qualms from his wife and close family and friends, Gasol pushed through with his plans and there’s no doubt this will change him for the better.

Seeing the pain and suffering these people have endured and experience it first hand will allow any man to empathize and do more for our brothers and sisters. As the Grizzlies big man said, he wants to better tell their story.

“If you want to be able to tell a story to other people and to bring more awareness to the issue, you have to go through it,” he says. “I am nervous. … I’m anxious because the not knowing.” 

The four-time NBA All-Star has an amazing mindset to all this and what he’s done this summer is truly inspiring.

This goes without saying, Gasol is an amazing human being for using his influence to shed more light on a major global issue. His experience here goes well beyond anything on a basketball court and we can only hope more people support Proactiva Open Arm’s cause.