Cam Thomas was born in Japan — his mom was stationed there as a soldier — but he considers the Tidewater region of Virginia his home and this holiday season, his first in the NBA, he decided to give back.
As WAVY, a local TV station, reports Friday, Thomas worked with his old elementary school, Portlock Primary School in Chesapeake, to provide personalized gift packs to 17 preschool students.
“We are so blessed,” said school Principal Heather Brusso of Thomas.
Thomas’ team and family reached out a couple of weeks ago asking how they could give back to Portlock students. The school put together a list of needs that Thomas filled.
“We arranged it where the teachers reached out to the families on what were some of the things they wanted for the holidays and we got a great list together, emailed it to the team,” she said. “Within a short period of time, we had gifts rolling in. Our teachers wrapped them and had them hidden away for many days.”
And when the kids opened the gifts, Thomas was on hand virtually, watching from Brooklyn.
“I am so excited,” the principal said. “We are actually a Title I school. We have a very diverse population but it’s one of those things that’s an opportunity for these kids to get presents they might not be able to get for the holidays. The fact that he’s able to give these to the kids really, truly means a lot to them.”
WAVY also reported that two of the teachers at Portlock got a special thrill. They had Thomas in their classes.
“She shared a story that he was outside at 3 years old playing basketball on a regular size hoop,” Brusso said of one of the teachers. “She says to this day, ‘I remember going over and playing basketball with him at 3 years old.’ She’s so proud of him. They both are. I’m proud of him and didn’t know him back then. It’s a wonderful opportunity.”