NBA Star Pays It Forward In His K-W Hometown

12-year-old Hamza Nur reached into an imaginary quiver and pulled out a pretend arrow.
The Waterloo boy, with rising Denver Nuggets star Jamal Murray watching, did his best bow-and-arrow impression of Murray’s “Blue Arrow” basketball scoring celebration.
Nur’s performance, as he sat with about 90 other kids on the main lawn of their Amos Avenue affordable housing complex, was right on target.
Murray, who grew up in Kitchener, tossed him a signed T-shirt and handed out backpacks filled with school supplies. The 20-year-old NBA sophomore threw another coveted item at the youngsters sitting before him in the sunshine. This prize was much bigger.
“This is not for one person. This is not for two people. This is for everybody,” said Murray.
“We’re going to be building a basketball court right where we’re sitting, for everybody to play on. To give a safe environment for everybody to play on.”
Safety is top-of-mind on heavy-hearted Amos Avenue… This is where toddler Mohamed Abdalla died 14 months ago. He was struck by an SUV in the parking lot of the complex where his family lived. He had been watching his brothers play basketball nearby. The tragic story drew Murray to this complex a year ago for a personal appearance to lift sorrowful spirits.
On Saturday, he returned for a back-to-school barbecue that had residents enjoying snow cones and digging in for a friendly tug-of-war. A bouncy castle stood near the spot where Abdalla had been hit. And Murray was back again to make the announcement.
Waterloo Region Housing, using provincial money, will pay for the court. Murray and his team will pitch in with resources for programming.
In the meantime, the five-foot-high pink and blue Little Tikes net that stood only a few dribbles from Murray on Saturday will have to do.
Nur was using it with his pals. He won’t miss it when a real basketball net arrives. Murray’s gesture touched Nur. “It means a lot,” he said. “Out of all the complexes in Waterloo, he chose this one.”
And one day soon, the young boy plans to show his gratitude by skunking Murray on the new court. “Tell him I’m going to face him one-on-one — and beat him 12-0.”
Source: Waterloo Record
Photo: David Bebee

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