Tyson Chandler has a huge heart, both on and off the court. To start with, the New York Knicks All-Star center and 2012 Defensive Player of the Year led his team to its first division title in nearly two decades. Then, after winning gold at the London Olympics, Tyson brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of children during a UNICEF field visit to Tanzania. Back in New York, Tyson focused his energies on advocating for UNICEF and assisting our fundraising efforts. That included donating time to be spent with him at a Knicks practice, for the 2012 Snowflake Ball auction. The Hess family were the lucky winners, and they came together a few weeks ago to spend the day with Tyson. And though they are Knicks season-ticket holders, they had never experienced anything like this.
Tyson spent hours with the family as they watched him work out on the court—and played some hoops, too. After the workout, Tyson took everyone on a tour of the practice facility, including the players-only locker room. He introduced head coach Mike Woodson, along with players including Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas, Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, Steve Novak and Iman Shumpert. Next stop was a video shoot, followed by lunch at the practice facility café, where Tyson talked basketball, family and the importance of UNICEF’s work. It was an amazing day made possible by the Knicks, the Hesses and a big man with a big heart helping the world’s most vulnerable children.