SALT LAKE CITY — Four years have passed since Kyle Korver’s lone NBA All-Star appearance in New York City.
“That had never really been on my radar,” Korver recalled of making the All-Star team. “I don’t really consider myself that level of player, to be honest with you.
“That was a really special year for me and for the team I was on.”
However, these days as a 37-year-old veteran for the Utah Jazz, he’s more interested in sharing wisdom with his younger teammates — particularly Donovan Mitchell and Royce O’Neale — as much as possible.
“It’s a secret, I can’t tell y’all that,” O’Neale said in regard to Korver helping with his shot. “But nah, it’s me being confident in just shooting the ball when I’m open.”
Just as passionate as he is in helping those in the Jazz locker room, Korver has also decided to use his platform for a bigger cause off the hardwood as he continues to support the End It Movement.
“The End It Movement is just one of the few amazing programs and organizations that have kind of freed thousands of people over the years,” Korver told the Deseret News. “We’re just trying to bring light to that, let people know this is still a problem and we need to care and help the organizations that are doing all the work on the ground.”
For those wondering, the End It Movement is an organization that aims to shine a light on modern-day slavery. The fight for world freedom goes beyond Black History Month, which Jazz center Ekpe Udoh feels should be observed year-round.
“Me, I don’t really fall into the Black History Month and all that because we are history,” Udoh said. “I’m not about to sit here and say here’s when we can talk about our history, that’s all the time.
“We need to do that more than a month,” he added.
The End It Movement estimates that more than 20 million people in the world are still enslaved in various forms such as child laboring and sex trafficking. The organization has partnered with numerous celebrities over the years, such as Ashton Kutcher, Carrie Underwood, LL Cool J and Peyton Manning.
During a 2017 game in Cleveland, Korver played with a red X on his right hand to raise awareness for the global issue. Last week, he also posted a rare photo on Twitter and Istagram with the red X and a T-shirt explaining that slavery is real.
“This is something I started getting involved in in Atlanta. The church that I was attending, kind of started this program,” Korver said. “You bring this up and people are just amazed that this is still a problem today.
“You think of slavery and you think of all the hard stories that we’ve heard of growing up, but slavery looks a little different today but as far as like sweatshops, sex trafficking, and there’s 40 million slaves in the world today,” he explained. “It’s more than any other time in human history but people don’t really know about it.”
The nonprofit organization started in late 2012 and Korver has pretty much been all in from the beginning. Over the years, he’s endorsed products such as Converse and EVO Energy Drinks, but the End It Movement is something that he feels strongly about in his mission to help others.6 comments on this story
“This is what it’s all about. Growing up, my grandfather always used to say, ‘you’re blessed to be a blessing,’” Korver explained. “It’s one thing to just consider yourself blessed, which is great and awesome for whoever it is, but why are we blessed? There’s an extra blessing that comes in the end when you pass the blessing on that you’ve been given so this is just part of the cycle.
“You hope good things for people, you try to work hard, but then the things that come your way you try to pass them along,” he continued. “There’s obviously so many great organizations and causes today and as players we have a great platform that we can shine light on certain things and be a part of certain things so this is just one of those ways to do that.”