Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic is a rising NBA star, but the San Jose native is also pushing for kids to shine bright. His Gordon Family Giving Foundation (gf2.co) has partnered to provide sneakers to thousands of homeless and low-income West Coast children, among other things, and his CodeOrlando program brings robotics, coding and nanotechnology to Florida students.
1. Why basketball and not stocks and bonds, bagel-making or high tech?
I could have done a lot of different things, but basketball is a big part of our family. Basketball is just a great way to express yourself and stay out of trouble. I love everything about the game, I was good at it, and I was tall.
2. You’re the first graduate of Archbishop Mitty High School to have his jersey retired. What did that mean to you?
It was a beautiful experience. I’m just so thankful to that community for helping raise me. I love the people in San Jose. Just the recognition alone is an honor.
3. Favorite basketball player when you were growing up?
Magic Johnson. He just broke the constructs of what it meant to play basketball. He was a 6-foot-9 point guard.
4. Why coding for kids?
It’s a lucrative industry. It’s helpful and it’s progressive. There are a lot of different things you can do through tech and computer science. It’s also an opportunity for us to help diversify the field.
5. How does a new pair of sneakers help a child?
A new pair of sneakers means an opportunity for a child. You never know where those steps will take you before your sneakers blow out. And before those sneakers blow out, there’s a great amount of opportunity for your feet to take you wherever you want to go.