Allan Houston Legacy Foundation
As basketball players transition into retirement, it can be hard to fill the time that professional sport once provided. However, for New York Knicks legend Allan Houston, leaving the game wasn’t really an option. He played for the Knicks between 1995 and 2005 reaching cult status among the Knicks faithful. Remaining with the team after retiring from the player roster, Houston became the Assistant General Manager while also overseeing the Knicks’ NBA Development team, the Westchester Knicks – two positions he still holds today.
In 2001, Houston organized a charitable fund under his name which would then turn into the Legacy Foundation later that year. It was originally founded to provide aid and funding to families affected by the tragic scenes of 9/11. During the succeeding years, the Legacy Foundation would execute a series of programs that would help the community of New York get back on its feet.
It’s primary goals according to the Legacy’s official website was to help:
1) Restore a family unit
2) Provide economic empowerment through entrepreneurship
3) Encourage education and life skill development
4) Enhance spiritual growth
The Foundation has now helped over 1,500 children from struggling families to realize their dreams and reach higher education. Their ‘Business Education and Development Programs’ helps fund entrepreneurs in the New York area learn vital skills and give them the learning platform to help grow their business acumen amid uncertain economic times.
Additionally, the Foundation has a multitude of community-based programs to help forge relations and strengthen ties between the Boroughs. Each year, the Foundation crowns a ‘Father of the Year’ to try and help move away from the ‘fatherless’ society that is abundant in the United States.
However, none of this is cheap, and only someone of Houston’s standing can fund so much. That’s why the Knicks legend regularly enlists his team’s roster in many of the fundraisers that the Legacy Foundation organizes. The most popular annual event is their Charity Poker Tournament held in New York City. The event, in the past, has attracted basketball stars such as Iman Shumpert and JR Smith, now both will the Cleveland Cavaliers and Amar’e Stoudemire who has also left the Knicks, this time for the Dallas Mavericks.
The event raised a total of $250,000 for the Legacy Foundation in 2014. Some of the prizes donated included a ticket to watch a Knicks vs Heat game with Allan Houston, which was sold at the accompanying raffle for $35,000 even if the Knicks aren’t exactly the form team at the minute.
The charity poker tournament included more than 3o celebrities and professional sportsmen and women each paying a premium to play. The tournament often uses Texas Hold’em and 5 Card Stud as its go-to card games of choice – the rules for both, can be found online. These were chosen, as they are two of the most popular card games today.
And although this year’s annual charity event hasn’t been announced yet, with the basketball season now finished for another year, the Foundation is set to reveal this year’s date in the coming weeks. Stayed tuned on the site for more information about this very important fundraiser.