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T’Wolves’ Zach LaVine donates to school for the deaf

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine cuts a blue ribbon to showcase a new kitchen for the Metro Deaf School in St. Paul, Minn., Monday, April 4, 2016. LaVine's hops have helped him win two slam dunk titles and make a name for himself as a rising star in the NBA. They are also playing a big role in a better dining experience for students at the school. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

A rising star in the NBA, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Zach LaVine is well known for his high-flying dunks.

The 21-year-old has won each of the last two Slam Dunk Contests at NBA All-Star Weekend, and this season is averaging 13.8 points, 3.1 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game for Minnesota.

However, while LaVine is doing a great job of making a name for himself on the court, his off-court exploits are also worth talking about.

As noted by the Star Tribune, LaVine recently donated $10,000 from his Dunk Contest winnings to the Metro Deaf School in St. Paul.

Apparently, LaVine and a friend took American Sign Language as a second-language elective and has an appreciation for those who use it to communicate. He has developed a relationship with the St. Paul school, which teaches 100 different students from 35 districts across the area, and Monday decided to help out.

On Monday, LaVine arrived to cut the ribbon on a new kitchen space, a project five years in the making that sped toward its conclusion when LaVine donated $10,000 from his February slam-dunk winnings.

The remodeling added a dishwasher and cabinets, installed a hookup so an oven can be added later and relocated a sink and milk cooler with a door that previously couldn’t completely open. It has all been repainted featuring logos for the Wolves, the Lynx and the school’s team name and logo, the Cheetahs.

This is not the first time LaVine has done something for the school, as he bought breakfast for the students last fall after being told all of the school’s meals were catered due their building lacking a functional kitchen.

LaVine now has been back to the school three times since then, kneeling to talk to the school’s youngest students and standing tall to speak with the oldest ones impressed with the car he drives. He has played games and basketball with students of all ages, sent them off on their winter break with a celebration and set forth a reading initiative in which he promises to amaze with his dunks should they reach certain objectives.

According to the article, LaVine also impressed the students by speaking to them in sign, though he admits he’s not quite as fluent in it as he was back in high school.

Character Counts is a registered trademark of the Josephson Institute.
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