Shawn Marion. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA -- Four-time NBA All-Star Shawn Marion is in town to spearhead an anti-bullying and anti-hazing campaign in Filipino schools as well as raise funds for relief efforts for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda.
Marion arrived in Manila Tuesday evening and will go to Legazpi City Wednesday to hold a basketball clinic for underprivileged children organized by Operation Hoops Cares with cooperation from the AKO-Bicol Partylist.
"It's my first time in the Philippines," said Marion, who signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the offseason. "I want to thank Hoops Cares for letting me come out here for a great cause."
"I'm all for giving back to the community," he added.
AKO-Bicol Partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe was thrilled to welcome Marion to Legazpi City, noting that it is the first time that an NBA player will hold a basketball clinic outside of Metro Manila.
"It will be a great honor, and the kids will be very happy to see you around," Batocabe told Marion. "They are excited to see (you) in person."
"This is the first time in the country that a basketball clinic conducted by an NBA player will be held outside Manila," he said. "It is the first time that an All-Star player will be going out of the metropolis and will be going to a depressed area, a poor region, to conduct a clinic for underprivileged kids. Thank you so much."
Aside from the basketball clinic, there will also be a poker tournament on Friday, the proceeds of which will also go to Yolanda relief efforts.
Celebrity poker player Lacey Jones will be among those participating in the poker tournament.
"I'm looking forward to this poker tournament, where we can raise money for homes in Tacloban," Jones said. "We're gonna have a great tournament and it should be a lot of fun."
The buy in for the poker tournament is P10,000. At stake are four suite tickets to an NBA game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New Orleans Pelicans, along with two other tickets for a game between the Cavaliers and an opponent of the winner's choice.
Those who will not compete in the poker tournament are still invited to watch and participate.