By Alex Madrid / firstname.lastname@example.org
Australia is suffering the worst bushfires in its history, in what has become an unprecedented natural disaster. The country suffers and, Australians who are far from home feel helpless, unable to do anything.
That was what was happening to Jock Landale, who couldn’t spend more time standing still and started a movement before his game against Real Madrid. Zalgiris Kaunas’ center, born in Melbourne, promised to donate $100 for each 3-pointer scored and dunk made by either team. As a result, Landale donated $3,500 to NSW rural firefighters.
“It’s really difficult; I had tough times dealing with it in the last couple of weeks. Especially since it’s going really, really bad“, Landale told Eurohoops after the game. “I’m a family boy. We have a lot of friends and family who had been infected. My dad’s best friends had been fighting the fires, trying to save their house. They finally came alive, all was good. But such a situation it’s a real concern because living so far away you can’t really do anything. Insane. All the animals, the properties being destroyed… it really hurts me. I’m a proud Australian, and it’s the place where I’m going to live the rest of my life. Seen all that stuff happening, and I can’t do anything immediately, sucks“.
His movement was inspired by his countrymen who play in the NBA or the NBL (professional men’s basketball league in Australia and New Zealand). The initiative of the only Australian representative in the Euroleague served to raise awareness among colleagues like Chris Singleton. However, Landale recognizes that his only goal was to help those in need:
“I feel like I have a responsibility to do that. I’ve seen some of my best friends doing it in the States, in the NBA. They manage to get $750,000. A lot of my friends back in the NBL had been doing the same kind of things. All I want to do is just try to bring witnesses to it and if anyone wants to get on board… Chris Singleton got on board, and I appreciate the hell out of him for doing that. That’s really big. I got the measures from someone that was doing the math for me, and he said it was something like 35 threes and dunks. That’s $3,500, which is massive for Australia. Something like that can put a roof on someone’s head. That’s all I wanted to do“.
Landale tries to encourage other players to follow his example. It’s not about helping his country, but people and animals that are suffering: “There are hundreds of thousands of people in Australia, millions of animals that have been affected by these bushfires. If it’s $1,000, $100 or $50. Everything that could help to put a roof on someone’s head, to an animal help foundation… I’m not asking for any special consideration because it’s my country. But at the end of the day, for me, it’s trying to help another human being. There a lot of people in Australia who need that help and would appreciate that help“.
A great initiative from a big man with a big heart that hopefully, it will never be necessary again.
Photo credit: FIBA