The Houston Rockets and Reliant hosted a back-to-school bash at Sunnyside Community Center. Jabari Smith and Amen Thompson also attended as they helped hand out backpacks and helped kids with different basketball drills. There were a lot of other activities, such as school sports physical. The Houston Health Department offered free dental kits and eye screenings. Also, Franklin Beauty Institute provided free haircuts for boys and vouchers for girls.
Jabari and Amen made it a point to talk to and take pictures with the volunteers and the kids who attended the event.
Jabari Smith also talked to the media during the event, as he spoke about giving back to the community and what he has worked on this offseason.
Jabari Smith talks to the media
Smith talked about how he feels being able to give back to the community.
"Just being out here giving back a bit. Around the time school starts back. Just helping people get ready for school. Excited to be here."
I asked Jabari what he had worked on this off-season.
"I would say my ball handling, my overall strength, being able to take bumps, playing more physical, throwing my body around. and just playing with a different mentality."
Smith has had a very active offseason, from playing in the Summer League to playing in Rico events and playing against Kevin Durant.
The Rockets, as we know, didn't win a lot of games last season, so there are a lot of teams they will look forward to getting some revenge against. Smith was asked if he has any games circled on the upcoming schedule.
"I mean, it's a lot of those teams. We lost so many games last year, I feel we have to circle everybody. I feel like we lost to every team in the league, we lost a lot of games, so it's like everybody is circled. We got stuff to prove."
Smith seems to have the mentality that every game will matter, and they aren't just focused on one team. They are going into this season with a different mindset. It is always good to see professional athletes out helping the community in any way they can, especially them being able to interact with kids and bringing smiles to their faces as they get ready to head back to school.