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Remembering what the Big Three brought off the court on 9/20/21

Spurs fans are well aware of the Big Three’s dominance on the court, but it’s important to celebrate their off-court contributions too.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

On Big Three Day, many Spurs fans will be reminiscing about Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker’s dominance on the basketball court. After all, they did lead the team to four championships and are still the winningest trio in NBA history to this day.

However, what’s arguably more important are their contributions to their respective communities; they’ll always be best known for helping the Spurs achieve basketball immortality, but the organization should feel even more fortunate to have had three kindhearted people represent the franchise.

Tim Duncan

Duncan has been involved in charities and fund-raising events since the early days of his career, and the Tim Duncan Foundation best showcases his generosity and selflessness. Established in 2001, the foundation has been funding programs that have assisted in health research, a cause that is close to Duncan’s heart ever since his mom passed away due to breast cancer. The foundation raised over $350,000 for prostate and breast cancer research in 2001 and 2002 alone.

Duncan’s foundation also supports youth education and sports, especially in San Antonio, the Virgin Islands, and Winston-Salem. In 2019, he and his wife Vanessa donated $500,000 to help launch an educational initiative for underprivileged children, giving more kids an opportunity to receive the schooling that they deserve and help them achieve their full potential.

Manu Ginobili

Like Duncan, Ginobili also has his own foundation. Located in Argentina, his foundation supports a refuge in his hometown of Bahia Blanca called Mama Margarita House, which supports disadvantaged youth and homeless people by serving them food. At first, only a handful of kids went to the refuge, but that number soon skyrocketed to 300, and this is all according to an article published in 2011. It’s very likely that Ginobili’s foundation has helped the refuge expand even more, but we might never find out due to the Argentine’s modest nature.

Of course, Ginobili has given back to the San Antonio community as well. He has consistently helped out the city during times of need, such as employing people to donate to the food bank last year during the early days of the pandemic.

Despite his incredible accolades, Ginobili has also remained humble and down to earth, continuing to touch the hearts of Spurs fans even in retirement. It’s no wonder he’s one of the most beloved players in franchise history!

Tony Parker

Parker doesn’t have his own foundation like the other members of the Big Three but has still made meaningful off-court contributions, especially in France. The retired guard is the first Ambassador of Make-A-Wish France, which is an international foundation that helps fulfill the wishes of children diagnosed with serious illnesses. Parker had met with a child who was terminally ill early in his career and that experience inspired him to get involved with the foundation.

Throughout his playing career, the Frenchman also regularly donated 20 Spurs home game tickets to underprivileged youth, providing those who are less fortunate to have an opportunity to watch their heroes in person. Parker regularly organizes the Par Coeur Gala as well, a fundraising event that donates its money to charities and non-profit organizations like Make-A-Wish.

Even in retirement, the Spurs Big 3 still give to their communities abroad and in San Antonio. For as much as as they gave to the city and fans on the court, they should always be remembered off the court is well. That is the heart of a true champion.