Meyers Leonard is joining other major sports icons pitching in to coronavirus charity, but he’s doing it in his own unique way.
On Thursday, the Heat center announced he is embarking on a 24-hour live stream on ESPN Esports’ Twitch stream to raise money for coronavirus relief efforts. The “Hammer Classic,” set to begin at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 5, will feature other athletes, gamers and celebrities to raise money for Feeding South Florida and Feeding America.
Leonard and his wife, Elle, have been social media staples since the NBA’s season was suspended nearly one month ago. On a conference call on Thursday, Leonard explained why he’s taken to social media and other platforms during this time of crisis.
“At the end of the day, I can truly say from my heart that my wife and I are ultimately trying to impact people in a positive way. Whether that’s with our time, whether that’s with social media content, whether that’s with a donation, whatever it may be, it truly does come from our hearts.”
Whether it’s trick shots, eSports streaming, or just a video from his home to make people laugh, the Leonards are doing their part to make a positive impact.
“I’ve heard from different people, and it’s a very humbling compliment by the way, Elle and I are very relatable. People enjoy the content we put out.”
His eSports community is growing by the minute, something Meyers Leonard cherishes.
“I always say to them, ‘I’m just a normal guy that happens to play in the NBA.’”
Now, Leonard is using his relatable personality, and his passion for gaming to give back to the community he’s fallen in love with during a time of need.
As Heat fans may recall – from what seems like ages ago – Meyers Leonard is recovering from an ankle injury that has forced him to miss action since February 3. Although team facilities are closed, Leonard has been rehabbing with a physical therapist and is using his pool. He said on Thursday he would put himself at 90% healthy.
“I’ll just be honest,” Leonard said on the conference call. “At the end of the day, Meyers Leonard is about winning. Period.”
Leonard went on to say he will do whatever it takes to be ready for the playoffs – whenever that may be.
“Would I have been able to return near the end of the end of the regular season? My hopes were yes, get some games under my belt and get ready for the playoffs. But let me just tell you. I don’t know, cast it, do whatever you got to do. Meyers Leonard is playing in the playoffs, period. I love to win, I love it here, I love that they’re about the right things.”
Leonard explained how grateful he is to be where he is during the Coronavirus pandemic, in the midst of an NBA season that may or may not resume.
“When you have a locker room full of guys like us that care and understand how to be true pros and approach it the right way, I would say it’s weird for everyone in the league. But I think that we would have a leg up on everyone else because of who we are and how we operate as the Heat.”