Tim Duncan Announces Relief Mission to Virgin Islands After Hurricane Irma

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2017

FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2015, file photo, San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan watches the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, in Philadelphia. Duncan announced his retirement on Monday, July 11, 2016, after 19 seasons, five championships, two MVP awards and 15 All-Star appearances. It marks the end of an era for the Spurs and the NBA.  (AP Photo/Chris Szagola, FIle)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

Former San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan announced he plans to organize a relief mission to the U.S. Virgin Islands in the wake of Hurricane Irma, the San Antonio Express-News' Jeff McDonald reported Sunday.

Duncan is a native of the Virgin Islands and moved to the United States in 1993 when he began attending Wake Forest University. He wrote on The Players' Tribune he would donate $250,000 and match donations up to $1 million to help the Virgin Islands recover from the hurricane.

"I've been thinking a lot about my old neighborhood in St. Croix, where I recently took my kids," Duncan said. "I showed them where I used to play with my friends when I was their age. I showed them my high school. Now I'm asking myself, What will still be there after the storms? We can pray. Then we must act. Right now you—we—can really, really make a difference."

According to USA Today's Fredreka Schouten, Irma took off the roof of the only hospital in St. Thomas, forcing some patients to be evacuated to St. Croix. The island of St. John also lost electricity and phone service.

The BBC reported the total damage across the Caribbean region could total $10 billion.

The White House announced Sunday that President Donald Trump has increased the federal funding given to the Virgin Islands in order to help the islands rebuild after Irma, per The Hill's Kyle Balluck.