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Published on January 7th, 2018 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


NBA Star Russell Westbrook Stays in Touch with Community Needs During Visit Home to LA

It’s been said a billion times I’m sure but here we go “To whom much is given, much is required” and NBA Star/ Philanthropist Russell Westbrook took the time to live that out during his trip home to Los Angeles with his current team, the OKC Thunder. Check the official line on what he was up too on his work visit!

NBA Star and Philanthropist Russell Westbrook & the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation Return Home to Los Angeles to Open 10 Reading Rooms & Give a Car to a Family in Need

2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook spent the Thunder’s road trip to Los Angeles giving back to his hometown in major ways.  On Tuesday, Westbrook surprised the Ibrahim family at St. Joseph Center in Venice by giving them a brand new car.  Working with United Way of Greater Los Angeles, Westbrook presented Jennifer Hall, Hassan Ibrahim and their four, soon to be five, children with the 2017 Kia Sorento SXL he received for winning the 2016 NBA All Star MVP.

Westbrook presented Jennifer Hall, Hassan Ibrahim and their four, soon to be five, children with the 2017 Kia Sorento SXL he received for winning the 2016 NBA All Star MVP.

Westbrook presented Jennifer Hall, Hassan Ibrahim and their four, soon to be five, children with the 2017 Kia Sorento SXL he received for winning the 2016 NBA All Star MVP.

Westbrook continued his tour of generosity this morning by cutting the ribbon at his 20th Russell’s Reading Room at Highland Elementary School in Inglewood and announcing that he is opening nine additional rooms throughout the Los Angeles area.  In partnership with Scholastic the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation has now opened 29 reading rooms, 13 in Los Angeles and 16 in Oklahoma City.

Westbrook cutting the ribbon at his 20th Russell’s Reading Room at Highland Elementary School in Inglewood

“The basketball stuff, that comes and goes,” said Westbrook.  “But for me it has always been about giving back to the community. Being able to come back to my hometown of Los Angeles and fill classrooms with books and give a car to a family in need, that is a true blessing.”

In a continued effort to expand its literary initiative, the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation is also sponsoring school-wide book fairs at each school that receives a reading room covering the cost for each student to select a book to take home and build their at-home library.


“The family that received Russell’s generous gift experienced a tough time finding stability that was made even more difficult when their car broke down last year,” said Elise Buik, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles. “With the help of St. Joseph Center, a United Way partner, they’ve been able to find an even better life for their beautiful family. We’re so grateful to community heroes like Russell for giving back to families in need. This gift is going to be transformational for them.”

“Throughout their housing crisis, Jennifer and Hassan have always put their children’swellbeingfirst,” noted VaLecia AdamsKellum, President and CEO of St. Joseph Center. “This incredible gift from Russell will help these dedicated parents continue to give their growing family the care they require. We also appreciate how Russell’s generosity will help others in need by bringing more attention to the crisis of family homelessness in LA, because no parent should ever have to worryif their child will have a place tosleep each night.”

“I want to thank Russell Westbrook and the Why Not? Foundation for selecting Highland Elementary for this generous gift. This beautiful reading room is a wonderful space for our students to read and explore a variety of books. We are glad to have him as our literacy partner and helping us achieve academic success for all students. I also want to thank Dr. Beasley, Mr. Leonard Hernandez, Dr. Sanderlin and the Highland custodial crew for all their hard work and preparation to make this reading room a success” said Dr. Thelma Melendez

About the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation:

In 2012 Russell Westbrook founded the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation. The Why Not? mission is to inspire the lives of children who are at-risk, experiencing hardship, low-income, poor academic performance with a goal to empower them to believe that anything is possible with determination by saying the foundation’s motto “Why Not?.” The Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation is dedicated to supporting community based education and family service programs while encouraging youth to believe in themselves despite adversity.

About Russell’s Reading Rooms:

Russell’s Reading Room is a literacy initiative created to provide Oklahoma City & Los Angeles based children access to books and a safe environment to read with family and friends.  Each room is filled with 1,200 books for all ages and the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation has now put 16 Russell’s Reading Rooms in Oklahoma City elementary schools and 3 in Los Angeles elementary schools.

About Scholastic:

Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology and related services and children’s media.  Scholastic creates quality books and ebooks, print and technology-based learning materials and programs, magazines, multi-media and other products that help children learn both at school and at home.  The company distributes its products and services worldwide through a variety of channels, including school-based book clubs and book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, on-air, and online at

About United Way of Greater Los Angeles:

United Way of Greater Los Angeles is a nonprofit organization fighting to end homelessness and poverty by providing students with support needed to graduate high school prepared for college and the workforce, providing housing for our homeless neighbors, and helping hard-working families become financially stable. United Way identifies the root causes of poverty and works strategically to solve them by building alliances across all sectors, funding targeted programs and advocating for change. For more information, visit

About St. Joseph Center:

Now in its fourth decade of service to those in need, St. Joseph Center is a non-profit social service agency that helps more than 7,000 working poor and homeless men, women, and children annually across L.A. County, with major service centers located on the Westside and in South Los Angeles. The Center focuses its work in the areas of Outreach & Engagement, Housing, Mental Health, and Education & Vocational services. St. Joseph Center provides clients with long-term services such as case management, job training and childcare, and meets immediate needs such as hunger, all in an effort to help people become productive, stable and self-supporting members of the community. Learn more at

About The Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD):

The Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) was established in 1953 with the merger of two high schools from Centinela Valley along with the elementary schools of Inglewood School District, which came into existence in 1888. It encompasses nine square miles in Los Angeles County and is about 13 miles southwest of the city of Los Angeles.  Inglewood Unified currently serves approximately 9,000 students in 18 schools in the city of Inglewood and an adjacent section of unincorporated Los Angeles County (Ladera Heights).  The district is home to 12 elementary and six secondary schools.  Six of our primary schools have been designated as California Distinguished Schools and one has earned the national Blue Ribbon School distinction.










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Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.

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