HOUSTON — Justise Winslow is in Houston for more than just Monday’s game against the Rockets.
The Heat forward had an important event in his hometown of Houston on Sunday. After donating $50,000 and raising a total of $100,000 in the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, Winslow met two families that money has helped.
The money was raised through Robin’s House Family Foundation, the foundation run by his family, and went toward purchasing low-mileage used cars for those two families.
“I’ve been involved with certain organizations and they told me how there were certain families that lost everything,” Winslow said. “Houston’s public transportation system is not the best system so just to commute, especially without a car, is tough. So this was something I wanted to do. The organizations reached out to me and told me about these specific families.”
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas as a Category 4 storm in August, with many locations in Houston reporting at least 30 inches of rain. The flooding destroyed homes, cars and made streets and highways impassable for days.
“The city was just devastated top to bottom, and I think Gerald Green did a good job recently on shedding light on how the city is still not back to where it should be,” Winslow said. “It’s going to take a collective effort from everybody top to bottom. I just felt I should do it. No one told me to do it, I just felt in my heart that I should give back in some form to those in need. Just helping out those families like I did, I didn’t really want any attention for it, but it was just something I wanted to do.”
Winslow, who was drafted by the Heat with the 10th overall pick in 2015, attended St. John’s School in Houston before playing one year at Duke. It’s been an up-and-down season for the 21-year old, who missed 14 games with a strained left knee.
Winslow has played in five games since returning from the injury, taking on a bench role. He’s averaging 6.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists while shooting a career-best 44.7 percent from 3-point range in 32 games this season.
But the on-court production isn’t the only thing that matters to Winslow. He wants to make an impact off the court.
“I’ve been blessed to have a lot of clothes and I’ve been going through my closet recently and just giving away anything I really haven’t worn recently,” Winslow said. “Because one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so just anything really to give back. I’m fortunate I’m at the point now where I like nice things and I like materialistic things, but I understand the value of time and how valuable time is. So really being around my family, those are the most important things and anything I can do to help people out I’ll try.”