Jeremy Hyman - WashingtonWizards.com
Over the course of an 82-game season, a routine sets in for a team. Games, practices, shootarounds, bus rides, plane flights all make up the grind that is the NBA.
On Thursday, the Wizards woke up in Memphis thinking they were sticking with that routine. After playing Wednesday night in Philadelphia, the schedule said "Practice - Thursday Afternoon". But, the bus rolled right past FedEx Forum where practice was to be held. Instead, it made an impromptu stop at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
The Wizards spent their Thursday taking pictures, signing autographs, and putting smiles on the faces of sick children in Memphis.
Several players and coaches took time to visit with the patients and tour the hospital. Their visit was a part of Hoops for St. Jude, a joint effort between St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and NBA Cares to help promote fundraising and awareness for St. Jude to help kids battling cancer and other deadly diseases. Fans can learn more about St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and their partnership with the NBA by going to www.stjude.org/hoops.
Emeka Okafor sat down with Monumental Network's Jumoke Davis for Thursday's Courtside Report and discussed the day at the hospital.
The day put life in perspective for the team. A common cliche we hear often, but can't be stated enough because visiting these sick children gave them a chance to step back from basketball and realize how they can affect the world just from an afternoon visit.
Here are some reactions from members of the team via Twitter:
Team took the day to come to St Jude Childrens Hospital. Very humbli @ St. Jude Children's Research Hospital instagr.am/p/VKL7EoBHmj/— Martell Webster (@MartellWebster) January 31, 2013
Had a great day @stjude hospital wit my team.Gives u a great value on life,what to be thankful for and a great place that's saving ppl lives— John Wall (@John_Wall) January 31, 2013
Just had a GREAT time at the St Jude Children's Research Hospital. Such an amazing place. Treats kids free of charge!!! #suchablessing— Garrett Temple (@GTemp14) January 31, 2013
Had a great time @stjude Children Hospital today !! Always a good feeling to brighten a kids day abd make an impact on their lives !— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) January 31, 2013
Not all of us are so blessed. It was great to support a make smile a few people today at St. Judge… instagr.am/p/VKYlU7tYIm/— Jan Vesely (@JanVesely24) January 31, 2013
Check out some photos from the Wizards' visit, taken by St. Jude staff photographers.