PORTLAND, Ore. (October 5, 2017) – To assist the recovery effort for thousands of victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless will contribute $50,000 towards efforts led by Dallas Mavericks guard and Puerto Rico native J.J. Barea. Starting at Thursday’s preseason game at Moda Center versus the Toronto Raptors, Trail Blazers fans can join Harkless in contributing funds as Puerto Rico struggles to rebuild from extensive damage and loss of life during the storm. Tip-off for Thursday’s game is 7 p.m.
“I have many family and friends that are on the island now, and obviously everyone sees the amount of destruction the hurricane caused,” said Harkless. “There are people there without water and food, especially in parts outside the capital (San Juan) that don’t get as much media attention. I’ve seen the pictures, and it’s heart-breaking. I just want to try and help in any way that I can.”
Though born and raised in New York City, Harkless is of Puerto Rican decent through his mother’s family, and has relatives and friends living on the island. Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico on September 20, and today thousands of people are still in need of water, food, shelter, electrical power and basic supplies.
Harkless has also created a special t-shirt symbolic of the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico that can be purchased HERE, with proceeds benefiting the storm victims.