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Joel Embiid is pledging $1 million to various Philly nonprofits. Photo: Leon Bennett/Getty Images.
Joel Embiid is pledging $1 million to various Philly nonprofits. Photo: Leon Bennett/Getty Images.

Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid launches new community initiative to fund local nonprofits

The new philanthropic platform is named "In Memory of Arthur," honoring Embiid's late brother.

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Joel Embiid, center and three-time NBA All-Star for the Philadelphia 76ers, has launched a new initiative to invest in several of the city’s nonprofits.

The initiative is through a new philanthropic platform called, “In Memory of Arthur” (IMOA), named after Embiid’s late brother, who died in a car accident in 2014. 

“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 in a statement.

“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.”

The organizations that will be receiving this funding are:

  • Philadelphia Youth Basketball League: a community-build youth empowerment organization that leverages the game of basketball to help youth overcome urgent and systemic issues facing underserved communities, with a focus on holistic early intervention, violence prevention, and restorative justice. 
  • New Options More Opportunities (NOMO): an organization that offers alternatives to violence and gang-related activity for teens in Philly and provides a safe space for youth and young adults to develop positive life skills and nurture their potential to break the cycle of poverty.
  • Youth Empowerment for Advancement Hangout (YEAH Philly): a 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 Clubs of Philadelphia: a nonprofit organization that offers extensive programming throughout the city for afterschool and youth development. 
  • Rhymes with Reason: an award-winning literacy program that uses popular music to enhance vocabulary and improve reading skills in children.

With this grant, Rhymes with Reason will be available to Philly children for the first time. 

The IMOA initiative has pledged to grant $1 million to this group of local nonprofits over the next three years, and is bolstered by contributions from Embiid, and partnering brand, Under Armour. 

“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 experts that are the real MVP’s of making a difference,” added Embiid. 

In addition to the grants, Embiid will also have an active role within each organization, with plans to visit and volunteer on a year-round basis.

Youth involved will also have access to various events and opportunities, including attending 76ers games. 

Embiid has been a part of the 76ers organization and Philadelphia community since he was drafted No. 3 overall during the 2014 NBA Draft.

After missing his first two seasons due to injury, he has since established himself as among the premier players in the NBA, finishing second in the NBA MVP voting for each of the past two seasons. 

He led the NBA in scoring this past season, finishing with 30.6 points per game, becoming the first Center to lead the league in scoring since 2000. 

In six active seasons in the NBA, Embiid has career averages of 26 points per game, 11.4 rebounds per game, 3.3 assists per game, and 1.7 blocks per game. 

The 2022-23 NBA season starts Tuesday, October 18, when the Sixers will open the season on the road against the Boston Celtics. 

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