Against all odds, Giannis Antetokounmpo, an NBA wunderkind, was slated to play with the Greek national basketball team at EuroBasket 2017 this summer. EuroBasket has essentially become an exhibition tournament played for pride: It no longer figures in qualification for the Olympics or the FIBA World Cup. EuroBasket simply crowns the champions of Europe every couple of years.
On the surface, it’s just a bag of course. It’s meant to carry school supplies, which isn’t a small thing, but it’s also very common. But each year now, for four years in a row, Wall has mattered in some child’s life. He’s showed them that they matter, and that they can make a difference given the proper tools. They don’t have to resort to other, sometimes more dangerous, means to make ends meet.
I just want these kids to understand that no matter where you start at or what you go through, you always can accomplish anything in life, Wall said. It might not be a professional basketball player. It might be a doctor, it might be a nurse. It might be whatever you want it to be. But if that’s what you want to be, lock in and set your goal for it and work hard every day for it.
So, even if it seems trivial, a little backpack goes a long way. Wall is showing children there is another way, through what he does and through what they can do in school. And for this community, that means the world.