|Thursday, December 12
Stoudamire does part to help prep sports in Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Portland Trail Blazers guard Damon Stoudamire says he will donate $200,000 to the Portland Interscholastic League to help save spring sports in the city's cash-strapped public schools.
The school board voted Thursday night to cut spring sports from the district budget, including golf, baseball, softball, tennis and track.
That leaves fund-raising as the only way for spring programs to survive, at an estimated budget of about $500,000. An estimated 2,000 students participate in spring sports.
In addition to his $200,000 donation, Stoudamire will commit $50,000 to help teachers and educators deal with budget cuts.
Stoudamire was on the road with the Trail Blazers, who play Milwaukee on Friday night.
A native of Portland, Stoudamire attended Wilson High School and led the basketball team to a 74-4 record and two state championships.
''The state of youth sports in Portland is disturbing to me,'' Stoudamire said in a statement released by the Blazers. ''For as long as I can remember, sports has played a major role in my family, and later provided for my career. Without the existence of the PIL, I may not have had the same opportunities, and my hope is to do my part to help out during this time of need.''
Stoudamire has drawn criticism in recent weeks after he was cited for alleged misdemeanor marijuana possession with teammate Rasheed Wallace and an acquaintance. Both Stoudamire and Wallace have pleaded innocent and face court hearings in Washington state.