Doug Baldwin, Michael Bennett, and Cliff Avril are champions on the football field but are also equally respected for their success in influencing change with community organizations. They are leading the Champions of Change celebrity basketball game in June.
“It’s been years in the making,” said Doug Baldwin, former Seahawks wide receiver. “Several conversations about how do we come together and do different things that we had already been doing individually, but coming together to expand and scale that.”
The event on June 26 will bring together their former teammates and other Seattle sports figures to support community organizations offering services for families based on dignity, empowerment, and collaboration with others.
“They’re organizations that are not highly touted,” Baldwin said. “They’re not in the spotlight a lot. They’re not getting a lot of recognition, but they’re doing a lot of great work. And they have a lot of data behind the impact they have in the community.”
The five benefitting partners are the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, DADS, Women United Seattle, Humble Design Seattle, and Dignity for Divas.
The two basketball teams will be made up of athletes from the Seahawks, Mariners, Kraken, Sounders, Storm, and the former Sonics. They will be coached by Marshawn Lynch and Gary Payton.
“We have a great roster that we’re building, and it’s a lot of folks who enjoy serving the community and are willing to have some fun in the process,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin, along with Bennett and Avril, has spent and continues to spend significant time and resources to support the Seattle community.
“This community, this region in general, has really served us as young men when we came into the NFL and treated us very well,” Baldwin said. “Obviously it has supported us in that process. We want to be able to provide that back.”
The celebrity basketball game will take place on June 26 at 3 p.m. at Climate Pledge Arena. To get your tickets to the game, visit the Champions of Change website.