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NBA star Steven Adams helps out with basketball court for Ronald McDonald House

NBA star Steven Adams is back in New Zealand and teaming up with a Tauranga beauty queen to bring basketball to sick Kiwi kids.

The 2.13m player heard about the efforts of medical student Kristy Toy, who ran a charity auction as part of her Miss World New Zealand pageant schedule that raised $16,000 towards building a new basketball court at Ronald McDonald House in Auckland.

Collectively the Kiwi Miss World contestants raised $40,000 for the charity.

Adams decided to help make Toy's dream become a reality, and he said her efforts were "just amazing".

"I just thought I'd like to see it as well, and I'm just going to contribute in any way I can."

He brought some of his Oklahoma City Thunder teammates along with him to meet the kids at Ronald McDonald House, and said being able to use his profile to help those in need was "one of the better things" about being an NBA player.

"You can't pay for that type of emotion that you feel at the time because [for these] families it's really tough times, and seeing a smile on their faces is just awesome ... I just want to give as much support as I can."

Ronald McDonald House provides housing support for families with seriously ill children.

Toy, 23, is in her final year of medical school at the University of Auckland, and was a finalist in the Miss World New Zealand pageant after being crowned Miss Waikato.

She said fundraising for the new basketball court was "an absolute pleasure".

"I have seen the patients and the families in the hospital and I've seen the other side of it.

"I didn't really expect much to be honest, and then when we calculated the total figure it was absolutely mind-blowing and incredible that we could donate that much from one auction.

"To be honest I couldnt do it by myself, and having the community involved and having their backing was what made it so successful."

She was buzzing after meeting Adams, and said she was shocked when she got the call saying he was keen to get involved.

"It's absoultely unreal to be honest ... Honestly there's no words that can explain that something so amazing has come out of a charity auction, and for it to go so far.

"He's very much the typical Kiwi guy you'd expect him to be, he walked straight in and gave me a hug like we were lifelong friends."

Ronald McDonald House NZ chief executive Wayne Howett said he expected building of the court to begin in a couple of months.

New Zealand's Steven Adams, Oklahoma City Thunder NBA player, talks with 7 year-old Tangaroa Herbert, during his visit to Ronald McDonald House, Auckland. Photo / Brett Phibbs
New Zealand's Steven Adams, Oklahoma City Thunder NBA player, talks with 7 year-old Tangaroa Herbert, during his visit to Ronald McDonald House, Auckland. Photo / Brett Phibbs

- NZ Herald

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