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Jarrett Allen returns to community to take kids Thanksgiving shopping

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Mike Lawrence

His charitable efforts Sunday may have been more impressive than his game Saturday – and he was less than 24 hours removed from a career night!

Jarrett Allen, all 6’11” of him was in Clinton Hill Sunday at Key Food on Myrtle Avenue where he brought 25 kids on a Thanksgiving shopping tour. Each kid got $100 —$30 more than last year’s tour in Jackson Heights. Each kid was accompanied by some family and equipped with a calculator, also supplied by the Nets center.

The tour is not just about charity. It’s an exercise in budgeting, teaching the next generation the importance of finances.

Ever active in the community where he works, The ‘Fro always references how he was brought up, in a family where charity was first and foremost in the Allen household.

“It just feels like the right thing to do,” Allen told reporters during the event.

“Math is our future,” Allen adds, explaining the rationale for the budgeting. “We’re trying to get these kids to grow up and understand that it’s more than just being given to them. We have to earn certain things. We did 100 dollars (as opposed to 70) because, New York’s kind of expensive … they could get more for their families. We make it more money so there’s more money I can give back.”

Here’s our Twitter Moment on Allen’s day...

Among the community organizations who worked with Allen were Ingersoll Community Center and Children of Promise. Ingersoll serves over 2,000 children, adults and teenagers annually.

The Children of Promise or CPNYC is the first and only after-school program and summer day camp for children of incarcerated parents. Allen also worked CPNYC this past summer at nearby Levels barbershop.

Allen’s favorite part of giving back? The kids, of course, who aren’t short on personality themselves.

“Their questions. They hold nothing back,” Allen said with a smile. “They’ve asked me about dunking on LeBron, hitting my head on doors, all types of questions like that.”

Of course, Allen also had to fend for himself. Here’s an inside look at his shopping cart.

It also includes his personal favorite, Mac and Cheese … which took him a little while to find.

How big of a favorite?

“The obvious answer is Mac and Cheese,” he replied when asked about his favorite Thanksgiving dish. “You’ve gotta have good Mac and Cheese for Thanksgiving.”

(Does the performance team know this?)

During his scrum, one CPNYC child, with energy matched only by Allen’s dunk on Lauri Markkanen, interrupted Allen, asking – with base in his voice and swagger in his delivery,— the type of ice cream he should bring home with him.

And Allen correctly suggested cookies n’ crème, proving that the Nets’ center of the future has the decision-making prowess of a 10-year veteran point guard.

“Stuff like that,” Allen said, as the child walked away to find the ice cream of choice. “What gets better than that? Nothing.”

Sure, the career-best 24 points and 11 rebounds he put up the night before was awesome, but this is even better.

And, ultimately, more important.