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Isaiah Whitehead is the first of many Nets giving back for Thanksgiving

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Anthony Puccio/NetsDaily

It's the Saturday before Thanksgiving, November 19, and Isaiah Whitehead is holding a "Coney Island Thanksgiving Share and Turkey Drive" at MCU Park. As Isaiah handed out turkeys, thanksgiving dinners and drinks to families in need, the crowd was entertained by a DJ and games for kids.

"He's a role model for different reasons," said one Coney Island native who received a turkey dinner. "He's a role model and an inspiration because we've had other players from Brooklyn, from Coney Island, make the NBA, but none have gone as far as Isaiah has with the community."

Whitehead has already held plenty of events for the community. As the first player from Brooklyn to play for his hometown Brooklyn Nets, his contributions don’t go unnoticed.

"It's inspirational. It's powerful," said another Coney Island native. "There's so many kids from Coney Island that love basketball, and for them to see a professional player go beyond the court and give back to his community really means the world."

For Isaiah giving back to the city he loves is just the norm.

"Any chance I get to give back to the community is great," Whitehead said. "There’s turkeys, there’s Christmas gifts. Just being here, it shows that just because I made it to the NBA doesn’t mean I’ll stop coming around and showing the city support."

As the day went on, the DJ thumped the music as families enjoyed their Thanksgiving meals and entertainment, courtesy of the hometown hero. It was another nice day for Coney Island and Brooklyn. They can be proud of what he’s done on the court, as well as off the court too.

Assembly woman Pam Harris and Councilman and Mark Harris were also in attendance, applauding Isaiah’s continued efforts in giving back to the community.

Whitehead, of course, is the first of many Brooklyn Nets giving back. He’s just the only one born there.


Here’s a list of Thanksgiving events the Nets and their D-League affiliate with run.

On Sunday, November 20, the Brooklyn Nets will hold their annual Thanksgiving event immediately following the conclusion of the Nets vs. Trail Blazers game at Barclays Center. The event, which is presented by Key Food in conjunction with City Harvest, will be held in the 40/40 CLUB & Restaurant by American Express. The entire Nets team, along with General Manager Sean Marks and Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment CEO Brett Yormark, will join more than 200 Brooklynites for a Thanksgiving feast. Families will also receive tickets to attend the game prior to the Thanksgiving event.

On Monday, November 21, the Long Island Nets, the new NBA Development League affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets, will shop for Thanksgiving essentials at Key Food in Flatbush and will provide 20 families with turkeys and sides to take home for the holiday. Additionally, the Long Island Nets players, coaches and staff will surprise the families with tickets to the first two home games at Barclays Center. The initiative is sponsored by Long Island Nets Assistant Coach Ryan Gomes’ Hoops for Heart Health Foundation and Key Food, with support from the NYC Housing Authority.

Chris McCullough will also be hosting his own individual turkey and Thanksgiving dinner giveaway, similar to what Isaiah Whitehead did in Coney Island

On Tuesday, November 22, Brooklyn Nets player Trevor Booker has partnered with Coney Lighthouse Mission to invite ten underserved families to Key Food on Coney Island to shop for Thanksgiving essentials.

The events tip off the Nets’ NBA Cares Season of Giving initiatives, which run throughout the holiday season.