Luc Richard Mbah a Moute used a night off on Monday to do something special.
Luc and his Milwaukee Bucks teammates hosted a basketball clinic on Monday night for 200 Special Olympics athletes and their coaches at Homestead High School in nearby Mequon, Wisconsin.
The Bucks have enjoyed a longstanding partnership with Special Olympics, a relationship that goes back nearly 25 years and though the members of each organization have changed, the warmth and caring spirit remains on the Bucks.
That goes especially for Luc, who, in his three years as an NBA player, has become well known for his charitable contributions to help kids in the U.S. and abroad.
« For us to have the impact we have on the kids is always something special, » he told FOX6 on Monday night. « This is even more special. »
Many of the Special Olympics athletes got excited to meet some of their favorite players.
« I like to see all the Bucks people, like my favorite players. It’s nice! » Mario Ogunbowale said.
Bucks players and the Special Olympics athletes bring their hands together as a sign of unity.
While the athletes had a great time at the event, it was also special for their parents, who had a chance to see their children have fun and interact with some of their idols.
« It’s the atmosphere. It brings the good out, » Brenda North, parent of a Special Olympian, told FOX6. « It’s wonderful. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so it will be cherished for a long time to come. »
Bucks assistant coach Jim Boylan told FOX6 that the event also offers players, coaches and Bucks staff members some unique perspective.
« Sometimes you think your life is tough, and you have a lot of things on your mind, and then you come around these kids and they just have joy in their hearts, and a pep in their step, and they’re happy to be out here interacting with you, playing basketball and having a good time, » he said. « It really puts things in perspective. »
BUCKS DROP WEEKEND PAIR
Coming off one of the most successful weeks in recent franchise history, with wins over the Lakers and Heat, the Bucks were riding-high. But they hit a bump in the road over the weekend.
Milwaukee lost both games of a Friday-Saturday back-to-back, dropping one the Pistons, 88-80, in Detroit on Friday night before returning home and succumbing to the Bulls, 113-90 on Saturday.
Luc was 3-of-6 for seven points and added five rebounds in Detroit on Friday. On Saturday, he did his best to stay in front of Chicago’s Luol Deng, forcing Deng to take 19 shots to get his 21 points.
On the offensive end, Luc was one of nine Bucks held to single digits on the scoreboard with five points. He added four rebounds and two blocks, but Milwaukee could not find enough offense to keep up with Chicago, as only Drew Gooden and Tobias Harris scored in double-digits.
« I’m hopeful it’s fatigue or something, » Bucks coach Scott Skiles said of the lack of us success over the weekend, « and we can get our legs under us [Sunday] and come back and have a good practice on Monday and try to get something going for next week. »
The Bucks have a healthy chance at a winning week, with games against Phoenix, Toronto and Cleveland on the slate. All three of their opponents sport records worse than Milwaukee at the moment.
The week begins tonight as the Bucks finish up a quick homestand by hosting the Phoenix Suns at the Bradley Center. Luc’s versatility will be needed as the Suns have one of the most versatile front lines in the league.
Former MVP Steve Nash recorded a season high in points against the Bucks on Jan. 8, so the Prince may be called upon to slow him down as well.
Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m CST and the game can be seen on FSN Wisconsin.
- Milwaukee Bucks score points with Special Olympics athletes (FOX 6, Feb. 6, 2012)
- Bucks’ Special Olympics Clinic (Bucks.com, Feb. 6, 2012)
- Bucks get some time to pick up the pieces (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Feb. 5, 2012)