2 Sixers among NBA players raising relief funds for Australian wildfires

Mike Dougherty
January 09, 2020 - 8:06 am
The Australia Flag flies under red skies from the fires on January 04, 2020 in Bruthen Australia.

Darrian Traynor/Getty Images


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — At least two-dozen people have been killed, and the toll on wildlife has been devastating, as wildfires continue to burn in Australia. As relief pours in from around the world, some 76ers have stepped up to help.

A group of NBA players from Australia, including Ben Simmons and Jonah Bolden, have collectively donated some $750,000 to relief efforts. Simmons Tweeted, urging people of his homeland to be brave, kind and compassionate to each other through these extremely hard times.

Sixers coach Brett Brown says it was heartwarming to see the players come together. He also coaches the Australia national team, is married to an Aussie woman and lived in Australia for nearly 20 years. Seeing images of the fires raging, he says, is devastating.

More than 2,000 homes have been destroyed across the country. Brown said his wife's family thought they might might lose their property for a couple of days when the fires hit within 10 kilometers of their farm. 

He says the people of Austrailia are extremely proud and close, so he isn't even a little surprised to see the players band together like this to help.

"The country is gifted with spirit," he said. "Mates. It's all about your mate. It's all about a comraderie and a tightness and a toughness. It doesn't surprise me what they did, and I applaud them for doing it."

The players acknowledge there is much more to be done.