Carmelo Anthony, J.J. Barea surpass $300,000 in Puerto Rico hurricane relief

The damage in Puerto Rico could set the island back decades, according to officials. (AP)

Following the lead of Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and San Antonio Spurs Tim Duncan, whose charitable campaigns respectively raised millions for victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in Houston and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony and Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea are leading athlete relief efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

Anthony, whose father is from Puerto Rico, and Barea, the NBA’s only active Puerto Rican native, each created YouCaring pages to fundraise for families impacted by a hurricane that left the vast majority of the U.S. territory without power, killed as many as 10 people and set an island that was already facing a $73 billion debt crisis back “nearly 20 to 30 years,” according to government officials.

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Combined, Anthony and Barea have raised more than $330,000 in less than a week. Anthony’s fundraiser has more than doubled his initial goal of $100,000, while Barea is just shy of the same goal.

On Tuesday, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban sent Barea on the team plane to Puerto Rico with supplies.


“It’s completely dark over there,” Barea told ESPN this past Thursday. “No phone service, no power, no water, no nothing. We’re trying our best right now to help, and whenever we’ve got contact with [family], make a plan and start helping over the next couple of days and next couple of weeks.

“Puerto Rico’s completely destroyed. The water right now is the worst. The wind knocked everything down, but now the water is down and it’s the worst ever. We’ve had some bad ones, but never like this.”

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Anthony echoed Barea’s sentiments with his Players’ Tribune piece, on the YouCaring page and in an interview with USA Today, even calling on President Donald Trump to increase federal relief efforts.

“I’m committed, and I call on everybody … to not overlook Puerto Rico, because there are so many things going on in the world today, in our country today,” Anthony told USA Today. “And at the end of the day, Puerto Rico is a part of the United States, so we can not overlook that island. I challenge the powers that be, the President of the United States, to not overlook Puerto Rico. Don’t overlook our Puerto Ricans. We need all the help that we can get.”

Duncan expressed similar concern for the U.S. Virgin Islands on his YouCaring page and a Players’ Tribune article entitled, “Don’t Forget About the Islands.” The retired Spurs star has raised almost $4 million. Watt’s campaign, meanwhile, raised more than $37 million for the Houston community.

Federal efforts on behalf of Puerto Rico are underway, although local officials are reportedly seeking additional help from the U.S. government. Meanwhile, Trump waited five days and several Twitter tirades against the NBA and NFL to recognize the damage to a U.S. territory, before offering this:




You can donate to Anthony’s fundraising campaign here and Barea’s relief efforts here.

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Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Ball Don’t Lie and Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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