Hey, big spender!
On Friday, March 25, J.R. Smith of the Cleveland Cavaliers hosted the first annual J.R. Smith Youth Foundation Casino Night Gala at New York City’s Stage 48.
The sleek, black tie event was organized to support the foundation’s Family Assist Program, which “opens doors for tomorrow’s youth” by creating opportunities for children to grow through sports, education, and the arts.
While the night’s official theme could’ve easily rivaled a scene out of ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ with it’s meticulously decorated Vegas-style ambiance, the vibe felt closer to a family reunion with the outpouring of support from J.R.’s family, friends, and colleagues. The Swish Family!
J.R. (Earl Smith III) and his dad, Earl Smith Jr., looked like they’re ready to shoot a scene out of ‘Harlem Nights’.
Very sharp, fellas!
Have to show love to mom!
The foundation behind the Foundation; Mr. and Mrs. Smith!
A mini Madison Square Garden reunion went down when sports broadcaster and red carpet host Tina Cervasio, greeted J.R.
NFL Safety Jaiquawn Jarrett looked as clean as a whistle when he posed for photos.Long-time friend and New York Giants Receiver Victor Cruz swung by to show his support to Team Swish.
We asked Victor how important it was for him to support J.R.’s efforts, and he emphasized the need for guys like him and J.R., who are fortunate enough to have the platform they have, to “be there for today’s kids.” Love was definitely in the air as J.R.’s Cavs teammate Iman Shumpert, and Iman’s fiancee’, singer Teyana Taylor, passed through to support their friend.
Buffalo Bills Receiver Walter Powell also stopped by.
Of course Chris Smith was there to support big brother J.R.J.R. and Chris are close friends and golf buddies with philanthropist and Special Olympics Gold Medalist, Brad Hennefer.
Brad has his own foundation, Gold For Life, which organizes golf clinics for children born with Down Syndrome.
Jason Black, one of the event’s sponsors and co-founder of the London-based company, Crep Protect, was “dripping swagu” in his oxblood blazer as he displayed the sleek packaging of his rain and stain resistant shoe barrier product.
Don’t want to ruin those Yeezy’s? Then you might want to put away the toothbrush and check out his product!
Team Hennessy go-to guy, Henry “HenRoc” Polanco, was in the building.
And he looked focused on his winnings, too.
Sponsors from RecoveryPump Brenda Viola, Steve Kantor, and Brian Carberry, swung by to make sure the athletes in the building were getting their proper rest and treatment. RecoveryPump is a compression device that assists athletes and “weekend warriors” alike in bouncing back from muscle fatigue.
Speaking of athletes, Brooklyn Nets Forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson showed love to Team Swish. Shump was clearly having fun there!
The night’s silent auction had a lot of great items up for bid.
J.R., who was visibly overwhelmed by the level of support for his foundation, delivered a touching speech about the importance of “investing in people”.
Overall, it was a great night for a great cause!
Photos/Video: The Sportstyle