Kyle Kuzma has surpassed all preseason expectations to become arguably the most impactful rookie on the Los Angeles Lakers, showing off his versatility by playing both small and power forward this season.
Kuzma has also shot 37 percent from 3-point range to give the Lakers some much-needed spacing, but the rookie already has his eyes on making a bigger differnce off of the court than he can make on it.
Kuzma is from Flint, Mich., an area still dealing with water crisis stemming from lead seeping into the water in addition that has only further fueled socioeconomic problems in the area.
He has been an outspoken critic on social issues since the start of his rookie season, and Kuzma said that and his charitable endeavors are all part of his goal to leverage his status as a Laker to make an impact on the community he grew up in, via Bill Oram of the Southern California News Group:
“I think my goal is really to be have the biggest impact any athlete has done to that city,” he said. “That’s kind of my goal. Over the years, keep trying to build that community and build hope. That’s something I really want to do as my career progresses.”
Kuzma’s commitment to helping his hometown is admirable, and something he spoke more in-depth about in the midst of his breakout back in November.
The more Kuzma’s status as an NBA player grows, the more leverage he’ll have to use his public platform to make a difference and to bring attention to the ongoing crisis in Flint, and he’ll also be making more money that he can use for charitable causes of his choosing.
Kudos to Kuzma for not letting celebrity or status change him, and for already having a solid enough head on his shoulders to be setting such charitable goals for the remainder of his career.