It’s nothing but Nets.
The Brooklyn Nets continued their reputation of giving back to the community on Monday, December 7, as guard Markel Brown and rookie Chris McCullough made their way to Maimonides Medical Center (MMC), 4802 10th Avenue, to spread some holiday cheer to pediatric patients.
Along with enthusiasm, the athletes brought each child Nets gear and signed each item. They also sat down with individual kids who are fans and played board games and video games. One patient even had the opportunity to play “NBA Live” with Brown and won.
The day meant the world to the kids that are facing serious illness, according to MMC Child Life Director Lenia Batas. “They were very excited that the players were coming and they were able to meet them,” she said. “These are kids that are facing a lot of challenges and fighting chronic illness so for them to have someone come and even shake their hand and say ‘I hope you feel better’ has a great impact.”
For Brown, it was an experience that he feels is significant to his job as a professional athlete. “It means a lot to [be able to] put a smile on someone’s face and I think the timing couldn’t have been better,” he said. “The holiday season is coming up and it’s the best time of the year with Christmas and New Year’s. Just to come in here and give everyone a good time, it was special for me.”
Teammate McCullough, who hasn’t played an NBA game yet as he recovers from an ACL injury, agreed. “We do a lot of these events and it means a lot to us,” he said. “Some of these kids are down so just to play games with them and have fun is important.”
Batas, who works with the children on a daily basis, was happy that the team continues to give back. “It’s really about people in our communities giving back and serving as role models. As Markel Brown said, this is a dream come true for him. He’s originally from the Bronx,” she said. “Here are kids from Brooklyn who could really look up to somebody who had their dream come true and still continue to care about the community.
Although it may be considered a small gesture, Brown said he’s happy to help any way he can. “The small things always count. Things that you wouldn’t notice could make someone’s day or week is great,” he said. “Every little bit can matter.”
“We’re a local community hospital,” Batas continued. “This doesn’t happen often. These kids idolize these players and for them, it’s something that is magical.”