Two teams later, Kyle Korver keeps making positive impact in Utah
Former Jazz forward has soft spot for Utah
SALT LAKE CITY — During his last season with the Utah Jazz, Kyle Korver set an NBA record by shooting 53.6 percent from beyond the 3-point line.
Want to know a stat that's even more impressive than his incredibly accurate 2009-10 shooting season and the 235 3-pointers he hit while wearing a Jazz uniform?
No, that wasn't the amount of marriage proposals he received during his Utah stay — he's married with a baby girl now, by the way. It's not how many times a day he was compared to Ashton Kutcher, either.
More remarkably, that number is how many wheelchair accessibility ramps the Utah division of the Kyle Korver Foundation, the SEER Group, has helped construct and install free of charge for Wasatch Front residents in need the past four years.
In a neat coincidence, construction on the 117th ramp began on Tuesday, coinciding with Korver's arrival in town ahead of tonight's NBA game between his new team, the Atlanta Hawks, and his old team, the Jazz.
That ramp, by the way, is being built for a single Utah mother with 11 adopted foster children, including six in wheelchairs.
For Korver, it's a way to give back to a community he learned to love and an opportunity to assist people in reaching places they otherwise wouldn't be able to get to without the help of his crew, led by SEER Group director Brad Mepham.
It's gratifying to Korver that people are still being helped out along the Wasatch Front even though he hasn't played for the Jazz in almost three seasons.
That shouldn't be a surprise considering his T-shirt company's motto is "For Uncommon Good."
Korver is two teams removed, but Utahns can attest that's still happening in Jazzland.
"It's gone really well there for sure," Korver said. "Kind of the whole heart of what we try to do is to find people in the different cities that we've played in and people who are really talented and have a big heart for helping out other people and try to help them do what they do."
In Utah, the foundation is able to build the ramps and custom-made handrails, which normally cost between $7,000-$10,000, through donations (firstname.lastname@example.org), local business contributions and volunteer work and through money raised from sales of his T-shirts and clothing line (seeroutfitters.com).
The plan is to keep the charity sustainable on its own, so that good works can continue to be produced.
"It's been that way so far," Korver said, "and so as long as the people who are involved want to keep on doing it and we're able, it'll keep on going."
Klay Korver, Kyle's brother who played at Drake University, oversees the NBA player's philanthropic efforts, which include different charities in the previous four places No. 26 has called home during his basketball career — from Omaha, Neb. (Creighton), to inner-city Philadelphia (Sixers), the Beehive State (Jazz) and multiple organizations in Chicago (Bulls).
Even non-basketball fans in 25 other NBA cities might root for Korver to end up on their team just for the good of the community, whose kids and needy benefit from the likes of clubs, camps and construction projects.
Though he's still settling roots in Atlanta, where he was traded last summer, Korver continues to help worthwhile movements through social media channels.
Klay said the foundation is constantly seeking ways to benefit those in need and asking, "How can we serve other people?"
The Korvers grew up with solid role models in their parents, who are on the foundation's board of directors.
"We value their wisdom and life experience," Klay Korver said. "We grew up watching our dad do inner-city work in Los Angeles."
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