Pacers all-star Paul George can do more than score. He can distribute too.
Earlier this week, the NBA all-star bought all 15,596 tickets to Fresno State men’s basketball team’s Nov. 16 home opener. George starred at Fresno State from 2008-10.
Jennifer Jory, the Bulldog Foundation director of development, confirmed the gesture from the Palmdale, Calif. native on Monday.
All Fresno State season ticket holders will have access to their regular seats. The rest of the tickets will be made available for free. George, who recently signed a five-year contract extension with the Pacers worth between $80 million and $90 million, said the gesture was a way to show appreciation to his alma mater.
On Tuesday, just before the Pacers played their home opener at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, it was announced that George has spread his generosity to the Hawthorne Community Center just off of Washington Street on Indianapolis’ west side.
With the Pacers success last year in advancing to the Eastern Conference finals, the NBA awarded the team $5,000 to help refurbish a room at the Hawthorne Community Center. The Pacers Foundation matched the donation and George personally added to it.
George also donated a KIA car, presented to him last year by the NBA for being named the league’s Most Improved Player, to the Hawthorne Community Center.
On Friday, George will be on hand for the debut of the new Pacers Learn & Play Center at the Hawthorne Community Center. Joining George will be the Pacemates, Pacers mascot Boomer, Pacers President Jim Morris and ex-Pacers greats Darnell Hillman and Fred Jones.
The monetary donation was used for a renovation that included two new entrance doors, new flooring, new shelving and cabinet refurbishment, a flat-screen television and Xbox, and a Pacers-themed mural along front wall and a Pacers logo on the back wall, said HCC Executive Director Diane Arnold.
The repairs and refurbishment were done with the help of Pacers and HCC staff along with officials from Native Origins, Vision Painting and Sport Graphics, Arnold said.