15 hours after a Friday night preseason game in Houston, Nick Nurse showed up all smiles at Shoreham Park on Jane and north of Finch as excited families gathered.
It’s the second year in a row that the Nick Nurse foundation has made Thanksgiving special for underrepresented communities. However Saturday was a first for O.G. Anunoby, who joined Nurse in wanting to do something special.
“He approached us. He was wanting to get involved and do something and saw this as a good vehicle that was already up and moving.” Nurse said of Anunoby.
Nurse’s foundation has been running since 2020, focusing on empowering youth from disadvantaged backgrounds through reading, music and sports. Teaming up with the Jane and Finch Boys and Girls Club and Second Harvest, Nurse and Anunoby provided boxed, family-sized Thanksgiving meals to 100 families. Gift cards and giveaway items were also included.
“It was a really great gesture by him to get involved here,” Nurse added. “The more people from the organization we can get involved is a good thing as a team and as a organization. It’s great to see him step forward and say he wanted to be involved, and put money towards it and be out here today.”
O.G. is entering his sixth season in Toronto. For both him and Nurse, the Thanksgiving inspiration came from a former Raptor.
“Just knowing every year about Kyle’s (Lowry) event. I’ve always wanted to do something on Thanksgiving, This year I made sure. I talked to Nick about it and made it happen.” Anunoby said.
Lowry and his wife Ayahna had previously provided for families from 2016-2020 as part of their “Lowry’s Thanksgiving Assist” initiative.
O.G. also mentioned that he wants to do more for the community in the future.
“Just to make an impact, besides just playing in sports. I’ve been here for a while now, I should have been doing this from the start.” Anunoby added.
Families gathered to take pictures with Nurse and Anunoby while receiving their items. Younger fans couldn’t be happier to see O.G. up close. Some of the older ones shared a wholesome moment as well.
“Big up yourself O.G,” one person said as Anunoby laughed.
“You’re welcome here anytime.”