‘Tis the season of giving and the Milwaukee Bucks are in a giving mood via a special player and his own charity organization.
Milwaukee Bucks point guard and Indiana native George Hill is usually busy on the court, but he spends a lot of time giving back off the court through his annual G3 Holiday Bash. Hill is often at the forefront of important initiatives including his outspoken protest during the NBA Bubble on the Jacob Blake shooting.
The 15-year NBA veteran is all about positivity and supporting those in need, which was in the atmosphere on a recent Friday evening with his holiday bash to support and benefit military families from all across Wisconsin. The event is known for raising money in support of military families and holding an auction, which included a Paul McCartney autographed guitar and a Jrue Holiday bobble head.
Partnering with Wish for Our Heroes, the G3 Holiday Bash started over 13 years ago as an initiative while Hill was a rookie for the San Antonio Spurs after coming in contact with a military veteran in need. Hill took time out of his busy NBA schedule to talk all about his Holiday Bash and the season of giving with the Shepherd Express.
What is your Holiday Bash about?
It’s mostly about creating a wish foundation for military families, almost like wish foundations for kids and wish foundation hospitals. We do it all for military families who are struggling during the holidays, regular times, when they come back, and when they get deployed. We just try to make wishes and grant those for families.
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Just curious. Why call it the “G3 Holiday Bash?”
All of my friends call me G3. My first name is George and I’ve always worn the number 3. I’ve never worn another number besides 3, besides when I played in Philly [Philadelphia 76ers] I wore 33. It started as G3 and then Holiday Bash because it’s a bash.
How does the G3 Holiday Bash give back?
You can give financially, but you can also give with your time. We have 1000+ volunteers who help make all of this possible. We have 1000 donors who donate to help make things possible. If you can’t do it financially, you can do it with your time and that’s all we ask for.
How does your organization help benefit Milwaukee locally?
The event that we hold here, everything that we hold here, stays here in Wisconsin to support all military families. Some like organizations that go. When you do a big pot and the pot goes all the way around and takes over all the states. But everything that we raise here in Wisconsin stays in Wisconsin to help support families.
Why choose military families? Why is that important to you?
When I was a rookie in 2008 in San Antonio, I met a couple of guys who were having a hard time and couldn’t pay their rent, lost their wives, couldn’t support Christmas for their families. These were guys who fought on the front line in the military and when they came back, they couldn’t find job and the GI Bills didn’t kick in. You just seen how hard they were going through all the hard times to fight for their county and not being able to afford things. It just hit me hard.
Why did you choose the Harley Davidson Museum for your event?
Harley Davidson reached out to us. I guess someone who works there said they really loved the things we did last year, and they would love to host it at their place. They gave us this venue at a minimum price and said they would love to give back and be a part of it. We said that’s awesome.
Why is giving important?
It’s something we need in this world. This world is filled with a lot of hatred. We have many people who try to impact other peoples lives and give back and see the smiles on other peoples face. That’s what it’s all about it, but it’s also about teaching our next generation that it’s okay to be nice. It’s okay to love. It’s okay to give back. That’s what it’s all about.
Why is it important do you think for athletes to give back?
I think because we have the platform to do it. We make millions of dollars to go out and shoot one ball through a basket. Then we have these military families who go out and get shot at on a daily basis, putting their lives on the line on a day-to-day basis, being away from their families for years at a time for us to be able to shoot a basketball and play in a gym and be free and not be in concentration camps and things like that. They make it possible for us to breathe fresh air and live in this country for free.
What can the NBA do more than you guys already do to give back, do you think?
I think just help support it. Try to do multiple things you can to give back. Be in the front line and promote it [giving back] more. I think these military families need help.
What is your favorite part about the holiday’s in general?
Just giving back. I try to teach myself and my kids that it’s not about receiving gifts during the holidays, it’s about putting smiles on other peoples faces and giving back to them.
What can we look forward to next year?
Hopefully we can double the amount of people, but not just double in size. But for quality also.