The Boston Celtics had a rare late-season off day on Thursday, giving players much-needed rest and relaxation before the final playoff push.
Or, in Malcolm Brogdon’s case, giving them the opportunity to address global issues before world leaders.
In an interview with Abby Chin on Friday, the Celtics guard revealed he traveled to New York on Wednesday to speak at the UN Global Assembly before prime ministers, presidents and government representatives from around the world.
This topic was close to Brogdon’s mind. To expand access to clean water.
“I think it’s probably the first time in about 50 years that the UN General Assembly has focused on clean water,” Brogdon told Chin. “I could only speak for a few minutes, but I talked about my passion for water, what I have done so far with the foundation, what I want to do in the future, and how I want to make an impact.”
Brogdon’s interest in the cause began with the support of former Patriots defensive end Chris Long, a University of Virginia alumnus and former New England athlete.
When Brogdon was with the Milwaukee Bucks early in his NBA career, he partnered with Long, who had already done water purification work in East Africa with the “Water Boys” initiative. (Long discussed the work at length with Tom E. Curran on his recent Patriots Talk podcast, which you can watch below.)
When Brogdon launched his own foundation, the Brogdon Family Foundation, in 2020, he followed in Long’s footsteps and created Hoops4Humanity. This is an initiative that helps provide access to clean water to underserved communities. In particular, in East Africa, where Brogdon has visited Kenya and Tanzania, in recent years he has helped build clean wells.
The impact of communities with easy access to clean water cannot be overstated, Brogdon says.
“What we found is that water as a whole disproportionately affects women and children,” Brogdon told Chin. often have to travel many kilometers to find clean water.
“A lot of times they can be killed by animals. They can get lost. And they miss education.
“…clean water is really life for them. It changes whole communities. It changes entire landscapes.”
To hear more about Brogdon on his experience at the United Nations General Assembly, advocating for clean water, and balancing his off-court work with his basketball day job, check out his full interview in the video player above. please.