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Utah Jazz's Mike Conley Jr. donates to coronavirus relief with faith as his foundation

As the suspension of the NBA’s regular season eclipses 10 weeks, veteran Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley has decided to give back to his community in the form of a $200,000 donation. It will help people who experience homelessness and food insecurity, as well as students forced to continue school online.

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Conley’s donation will be split among the following organizations: the Utah Food Bank; CodeCrew in Memphis, Tennessee; the Community Shelter Board and Columbus Urban League in Ohio; the Indianapolis Public Schools Foundation; and the New Haven Missionary Baptist Church in Arkansas.

Conley told ESPN earlier this week that he wanted to donate to regions of the country that have had a special significance in his life. He was born in Arkansas, went to grade school in Indiana, played at Ohio State in college and spent the first 12 years of his NBA career with the Memphis Grizzlies. He was traded to the Jazz last summer.

Conley has also created an online auction as part of the All-In Challenge to help food insecurity in the face of the coronavirus. The All-In Challenge is a fundraising tool where celebrities can put experiences or memorabilia up for auction. When fans donate to the fund, they are entered to win.

A three-time winner of the NBA Sportsmanship Award and the 2019 NBA Teammate of the Year, Conley said at his introductory press conference with the Jazz that he is rooted in his faith in Christ, regardless of his circumstances.

“Faith is big in my family and for me,” Conley said, via the Deseret News. “I was never able to get distracted with all the things that were going on last season strictly because of that foundation and being able to believe regardless and have faith regardless of what’s in front of me.”

Conley’s uncle is now a pastor in Arkansas, and his parents brought him to church as a kid growing up in the state. Both his mother, Regina, and his father, Mike Sr., are sure that he will cling to his faith regardless of what his future holds, in the NBA and beyond.

“That’s what faith is, not knowing but having faith, and he truly believes that his path is already made,” Mike Sr. told the Deseret News, “and he put it in God’s hands, and this is where it ended up.”

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