JJ Redick (4) high-fives Brandon Ingram

JJ Redick discusses family’s donation on Friday’s Pelicans Podcast

by Jim Eichenhofer

JJ Redick and wife Chelsea decided several years ago to make charitable contributions anonymously, understanding that it was not important to garner public recognition for their various community efforts. Given the unprecedented circumstances in the United States and the world right now, however, the couple made an exception to that philosophy this week, announcing they’re part of an effort to provide 1.8 million meals to New Orleans residents with food insecurity, who may not have certainty about their next meals.

“This seemed like an exception to that rule, in these extraordinarily difficult times,” Redick said on Friday’s Pelicans Podcast, referring to the current coronavirus crisis. “We wanted to raise awareness for the needs of local food banks, not only in New Orleans, but all across the country. There are a lot of people out of work already, a lot of people who will be out of work. There are people who are sick, people who can’t leave their homes, school-aged children that rely on school to get their meals. There are all sorts of needs.”

The Redicks are teaming up with Lineage Logistics, Second Harvest Food Bank, Feeding America and the Pelicans on the effort.

“Basically as soon as the NBA season shut down and they shut down the schools in New Orleans, we kind of saw the writing on the wall,” Redick said of the impetus for the donation. “The restaurants were going to be shut down. We felt like this was going to be a huge need in the New Orleans community. It was a need we wanted to fill.”

Meanwhile, the 14th-year shooting guard and the rest of Pelicans players have essentially been away from each other since the team returned from what was supposed to be a March 11 game at Sacramento, but they’ve been maintaining frequent contact as they await what’s next.

“I’ve spoken with just about everyone at this point,” Redick said. “We’ve all hit each other up on the group text. We all obviously want to get back on the court, but we definitely want to get back together as a group.

“We’re all hoping there is an opportunity for us to finish the season and try to make the playoffs in some way, shape or form… From what I understand, everything is on the table right now in (the NBA) trying to figure out how to finish the season. We’re in a situation where there is no easy answers. We’re all beholden to this virus and the spread of it. We understand that is way more important right now than anything related to sports. But I do feel like whenever sports are able to resume, they will represent a significant portion of the healing process for this country, because of their unique ability to bring people together.”

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