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Aron Baynes among NBA players raising funds for Australian wildfires

Aron Baynes #46 of the Phoenix Suns is congratulated by Ricky Rubio #11 after he made a basket against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on October 30, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes is among nine NBA players who have pledged $750,000 to relief and recovery efforts in the wake of devastating brushfires in Australia.

“We are heartbroken over the devastation these fires are causing all across our homeland,” the players said in a joint statement released by the NBA and the league’s players association (NBPA).

“Our thoughts are with our families, friends and all of the people of Australia. We hope you feel our love and support and know that we will continue to bring awareness to this crisis globally and provide assistance in any way we can.”

Baynes is joined by Jonah Bolden and Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers), Ryan Broekhoff (Dallas Mavericks), Matthew Dellavedova and Dante Exum (Cleveland Cavaliers), Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz), Thon Maker (Detroit Pistons) and Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs) among NBA players hoping to garner public donations to support the cause.

Baynes asked fans via his Twitter account to visit the Australian Red Cross fundraising website if they wish to help out with donations.

The Australian fires, which have been blazing since September, have killed 26 people, destroyed 2,000 homes and scorched an area twice the size of the U.S. state of Maryland.

They have been fueled by drought and the country’s hottest and driest year on record.

“Our players have a deep connection to the places where they grew up and have always responded with generosity and compassion in the aftermath of disasters,” said NBPA Foundation executive director Sherrie Deans in a release. “The Foundation’s board is committed to extending our long-standing support of players’ financial contributions in response to disasters through this joint effort.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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