After Hurricane Irma, Former NBA Star Tim Duncan Pleads For The U.S. Virgin Islands To Not Be Forgotten

The storm made landfall in the Caribbean as a Category 5 hurricane.

As Hurricane Irma made landfall on the continental United States, NBA legend and native of the U.S. Virgin Islands Tim Duncan is making an urgent plea on behalf of the territory that was leveled earlier this week by the then Category 5 hurricane. 

"I'm not normally one to speak directly in the media, or write stuff publicly," Duncan writes in The Player's Tribune. "But here I am, talking right to you, asking you for a favor. I promise I wouldn't be asking if it didn't matter so much."

In the essay, Duncan announced that he has pledged $250,000 to relief efforts and will match donations up to $1 million. As of publication, Duncan's fundraiser has surpassed that goal. The former San Antonio Spurs player said he will charter a plane full of supplies to St. Croix and promised that 100 percent of donations will go directly to on-the-ground Hurricane Irma relief.

"I've been thinking a lot about my old neighborhood in St. Croix, where I recently took my kids," Duncan wrote. "I showed them where I used to play with my friends when I was their age. I showed them my high school. Now I'm asking myself, 'What will still be there after the storms?' "

Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean earlier this week and ripped roofs off of homes and flattened airports, schools, and hospitals. At the time of publication, four people had died in the storm. 

"I'm writing this to ask for your help in the relief efforts, but I'm also asking you not to forget about islands like the Virgin Islands and St. Martin and others," Duncan wrote. "The news of the storm may fade from the headlines, but there are still real people there — good people — who need your goodwill, and who will never forget your generosity." 

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