‘Give them a helping hand’: Gonzaga basketball players help collect donations for ‘Giving Backpacks’

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Zags are heading to the WCC tournament this weekend. Despite a busy schedule, players spent some of their downtime giving back to the community.

No-Li Brewhouse, Spokane Quaranteam and the Gonzaga basketball team collected donations for people in need.

“When they say they represent our city, they literally carry our city on their back and they’re not afraid to roll out their sleeves and help us,” said Rick Clark, founder of Spokane Quaranteam.

The idea came from a player who’s no stranger to helping people.

“I think it’s something that’s been important to me since I’ve been growing up,” said Rasir Bolton, a Gonzaga basketball player. “Coming up where I’m from, just seeing people who may need help or are less fortunate than you.”

“He just does it and that’s just the kind of guy that he is and that’s just how great of a human being he is,” said Gonzaga basketball player Drew Timme.

The team collected socks, backpacks and food for Giving Backpacks. The first 500 people to donate got a free No-Li “Pay It Forward” pint glass.

“These backpacks will go out to people that are experiencing homelessness along with some resources for them,” Clark said.

Fans — big and small — came out to show support.

“There’s no better way to give back when there’s a little bit of time that we have to give back, so we’re very excited to help Rasir and Rick out with what they’re doing,” Timme said.

For two hours at No-Li, they filled up a trailer with items. Players also met with fans and signed a few autographs.

They say having this opportunity gives them a chance to get their minds off of basketball and give back to the people that need it most.

“Just to be able to give back, make their day a little better. Hopefully, turn their lives around,” Bolton said. “Just to be able to give them a helping hand. Let them know somebody cares.”

If you couldn’t make it out to donate, you can still contribute here.

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