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Let’s Appreciate Some G Leaguers: Juneteenth Edition

To celebrate Juneteenth, here’s a special edition of “Let’s Appreciate Some G Leaguers” that look at some of the players from the 2019-20 G League season that have protested or use their platform to speak out.

Philadelphia 76ers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Note: Due to the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, Rayshard Brooks by law enforcement, people throughout the United States and the world have spoken out, protested, and donated to groups looking to fight against those injustices. To celebrate Juneteenth, which marks the day that enslaved African-Americans were liberated, I’m going to use this piece to highlight some of the players from the 2019/20 G League season that have been engaging in protests and/or using their platform to speak out against the recent tragedies and continued structural racism.

Juan Toscano-Anderson - Santa Cruz/Golden State Warriors

To basketball fans, Juan Toscano-Anderson is a hard-working wing that spent a year-and-a-half grinding in the G League with Santa Cruz before getting called up by Golden State. However, the recent injustices have pushed Juan Toscano-Anderson to be in the spotlight for reasons way more important than basketball. In the East Oakland area where he was born and raised, Juan led a “Walk In Unity” protest to highlight the issues that hit way too close to home for folks within that community. At that protest, Toscano-Anderson was joined by former Santa Cruz guard Damion Lee along with NBA All-Stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson along with 500 other people.

Galen Robinson Jr. - Austin Spurs

Through the selling of “Dedication tees” honoring George Floyd through his company “Substantial Worldwide”, Austin Sprus rookie Galen Robinson was able to raise $4,500 with 100% of the proceeds going to various organizations that include: Black Lives Matter, We The Protestors, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Black Visions.

Duane Notice - Raptors 905

On June 8th, Duane Notice who played with the Raptors 905 during the 2019-20 season, was in a video talking about using his platform to speak out about the continued injustices while talking about the need to stand together. In partnership with the CEBL’s Hamilton Honey Badgers and former 905 teammate MiKyle McIntosh, launched an initiative that allowed fans to donate money to different organizations while also entering a raffle to receive a signed jersey from one of the players. The organizations involved in this include: Black Lives Matter Toronto, FoodShare Emergency Good Food Box, Black Legal Action Centre, Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion, and Empowerment Squared.

Justin Anderson - Long Island Nets

Following George Floyd’s death, NBA vet and current Long Island Nets wing Justin Anderson joined Boston Celtics forward and Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon for a rally in Atlanta. Shortly after participating in that protest, the Virginia alum spoke out to Yahoo Sports about personal concerns about if participating in the protest and speaking out would have a negative impact on his image and standing with the league considering that he isn’t signed to a guaranteed contract with an NBA team. However, those concerns were erased when Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce and Long Island GM Matt Riccardi reached out to him to express their support.

Jaylen Hoard - Texas Legends/Portland Trail Blazers

Despite being a two-way player with the Portland Trail Blazers, 6’9 forward Jaylen Hoard spent a lot of his rookie year with the Texas Legends. After Covid-19 forced professional basketball to press the pause button, he returned to his home country of France. While in Montpellier, Hoard joined his family to participate in a protest against the continued injustices.

Cameron Reynolds - Wisconsin Herd/Milwaukee Bucks

Sticking with two-way players that have been protesting, Bucks two-way player Cam Reynolds joined teammates Donte Divincenzo, Sterling Brown, Brook Lopez, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Frank Mason to participate in a protest in Milwaukee. In addition to being involved in that protest, Cam has also used his Twitter account to speak out against injustices and promote various social justice organizations.