Kyle Kuzma proved last year that he was skilled and developed way beyond his years, putting together a phenomenal rookie season that landed him on the All-Rookie first team. But throughout his time with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kuzma has proven maturity off the court, as well.
Among the Lakers young core, no one has been as vocal about social issues as Kuzma. From tackling police brutality to detailing the hypocrisy of the NCAA, Kuzma has not been afraid to speak his mind on important topics. Perhaps most close to his heart has been the ongoing water crisis in his hometown of Flint, Michigan.
Flint has been without clean water since 2014 on top of its ongoing issues with poverty, violence and drug use. Since coming into the NBA, Kuzma has been raising awareness about the problems in his hometown. On Friday, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk released a story on Kuzma where the Lakers forward spoke about his desire to have a lasting impact on Flint the way his teammate, LeBron James, has done in Akron, Ohio:
“I am trying to do a lot,” Kuzma said. “Not so much now because I haven’t really made enough money [yet] to really make some things happen. … My thing is to keep spreading awareness.
“During election time, [the water crisis] was such a big deal. And once that kind of went away, Flint went away. I want to try to keep it alive and really keep pushing it forward until I can do bigger and better things here.”
“LeBron is a role model in that sense,” Kuzma said. “Because for him to be as good as he is and how high up he is on the totem pole, to still care about Akron, Ohio, that is tremendous and speaks volumes.”
“He is from a small city and I am from a small city. So I want to [have] that type of impact on my community.”
This stuff obviously goes way beyond basketball but fans of Kuzma and the Lakers (as well as the NBA as a whole) should be appreciative of his efforts to do some good for his community. Athletes have the platform (and the money) to do great things and in Kuzma’s case, it appears as though the young star is looking to do just that.