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Joel Embiid launches ‘In Memory of Arthur’ community initiative

With support from Under Armour, $1 million is pledged to Philadelphia non-profit organizations.

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The death of Joel Embiid’s brother Arthur is a tragic chapter in the Philadelphia 76ers All-Star’s story. Arthur was killed in 2014 at 13 years old after being struck by a truck while walking home from school in his native Cameroon. Since then, Joel has done a lot to keep the memory of his brother alive, most prominently naming his own son Arthur when he was born in September of 2020. Embiid has also dedicated the Arthur Embiid Athletics Court at the Northeast Frankford Boys and Girls Club in Philadelphia, and launched the Arthur Embiid & Angels Foundation to assist at-risk youth in Cameroon.

Yesterday, Embiid launched another charitable endeavor in his brother’s memory, the “In Memory of Arthur” community initiative, which will provide $1 million in grant money to Philadelphia-area non-profits. Here’s the full statement from Philadelphia 76ers public relations:

“NBA All-Star Joel Embiid today announced the launch of his new philanthropic platform, “In Memory of Arthur’’ (IMOA) Initiative, which he designed to make a positive change on Philadelphia, by investing in some of the city’s most impactful non-profit organizations. Bolstered by contributions from Embiid and Embiid’s close partner Under Armour, the IMOA Initiative has pledged to grant $1 Million to a group of locally-led nonprofit organizations, over the next three years.

“Philadelphia has been a place where many of my dreams were able to come true, and I wanted to do my part to bring that to others,” Embiid said. “There are a number of organizations in Philadelphia that are creating positive tangible change, but with the IMOA Initiative, we really wanted to focus on those who are often overlooked, but deeply understand the communities they serve. As an NBA player, I’ve been blessed with resources and influence, and with IMOA, I hope to pour back everything I have into my community, by empowering the experts that are the real MVP’s of making a difference.”

IMOA Initiative is named after, and created in memory of Embiid’s late brother, Arthur, who was killed in a car accident in Cameroon in 2014 at age 13. Joel hopes that this initiative can create a positive legacy around Arthur’s name, one that he believes Arthur would have built himself had he not been lost at such a young age.

The organizations selected for grants include the following:

  • Philadelphia Youth Basketball League: Offering holistic early intervention, violence prevention, restorative justice and sporting activities for young people in Philly.
  • New Options More Opportunities / NoMo: Offering alternatives to violence and gang-related activity for teens in Philly.
  • Youth Empowerment for Advancement Hangout (YEAH Philly): Black-led, community organization dedicated to elevating the experiences of teens and young adults impacted by violence while interrupting the cycle of violence through peer led mediation and conflict resolution, community investment, and economic opportunities.
  • Boys & Girls Club Philadelphia: B&GC Philly offers some of the most extensive programming throughout the city for afterschool and youth development.
  • Rhymes with Reason: This award-winning literacy program uses popular music to enhance vocabulary and improve reading skills in kids, and Joel will bring it to Philly for the first time. All organizations receiving grants from IMOA Initiative will participate in Rhymes with Reasons.

In addition to the grants, Embiid will have an active role within each organization, and plans to visit and volunteer on a year-round basis. Youth involved will also have access to exciting events and opportunities, including attending 76ers games.”

The IMOA Initiative is another terrific example of public service from Embiid, who has a long history of charitable giving, even winning the NBA Cares Community Assist Award in March of 2021. As we are days away from the start of another regular season, let’s take a moment to appreciate that not only did the Sixers franchise land such a prodigious star on the court, but one who whole-heartedly embraces this city as his home and does a tremendous amount to make it a better place.

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