Professional Basketball Star’s Journey From Athlete to Humanitarian

Leveraging basketball to provide support for Israeli children.



(Zamrznuti tonovi /

In the aftermath of a brutal Hamas terrorist attack on Israel, one individual is using the power of sports to bring hope and solace to those affected by the turmoil. Jared Armstrong, a professional basketball player whose season was slated to begin on October 7, has found a new calling in using his athletic talents to uplift Israeli children amidst the realities of war, JTA reports.

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A mission of connection, community and resilience
Armstrong, 27, is a point guard for Elitzur Ashkelon, Israeli basketball’s second tier. For Armstrong, basketball has always been more than just a game – it is a vehicle for connection, resilience, and community. According to The Jerusalem Post, as he watched the violence unfold in Israel, he felt compelled to take action and make a difference in the lives of those impacted by the conflict. Putting his own career on hold, Armstrong embarked on a mission to support Israeli children who are facing difficult times.

“Mostly all the kids play basketball. It was a way that I can help them escape from the world, from what’s going on,”Armstrong told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

“I remember it like it was yesterday. I’m looking literally outside my window where the rocket landed, right in front of my apartment. Even though people are trying to live normal lives, it’s been different. You can just feel it through the energy,” Armstrong stated, adding, “You can also feel the Israeli spirit of people fighting and wanting to live their regular lives and trying to get back to normal.”

Partnering with local organizations and community leaders, Armstrong launched basketball clinics and workshops in cities across Israel, providing children with an opportunity to escape the harsh realities of war, even if just for a few hours. Through drills, games, and camaraderie, Armstrong and his team of volunteers are helping to foster a sense of normalcy and resilience in the midst of chaos.

“I felt this initiative was something that could help kids on and off the court, not only physically but emotionally, spiritually, and just create a positive environment that can help them escape from the world and use basketball as a sanctuary, which it has always been for me,” Armstrong said.

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Solidarity and compassion

But beyond the physical activity, Armstrong's presence serves as a powerful reminder that solidarity and compassion can transcend borders and unite people in times of adversity. By showing up for the children of Israel, Armstrong is sending a message of hope and solidarity to communities around the world. Armstrong hopes in the future to use basketball to promote Arab-Jewish relations.

“My goal, if it’s able to start, is to try to create an environment where kids can have an outlet that they can remember for the rest of their lives. When the war is over and they start going back to living normal, they can look down at the T-shirt [they received from the camp] and say, ‘Damn, I went to JAB Camp’s basketball league.’ And it could bring a memory and a positive smile to their face,” Armstrong explained. 

Armstrong has also been involved in humanitarian efforts to provide essential supplies and support to families affected by the conflict. From distributing food and water to offering emotional support and counseling, Armstrong is leveraging his platform as an athlete to make a tangible difference in the lives of those in need.

Armstrong remains committed to his mission of using basketball as a force for good. Despite the challenges and uncertainties, he remains steadfast in his belief that sports have the power to heal, inspire, and unite people from all walks of life. Armstrong's dedication to helping Israeli children find joy and resilience through basketball serves as a shining example of the transformative power of sports and the indomitable human spirit. Through his actions, he reminds us all that even in the darkest of times, there is always hope and the potential for positive change.

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