LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Basketball great Michael Jordan will make a record-breaking $10 million donation to the Make-A-Wish foundation to mark his 60th birthday later this week, a statement said on Wednesday.
Jordan’s donation to Make-A-Wish ˗ which aims to fulfill the wishes of children aged between 2-18 battling critical illness ˗ is the largest in the Arizona-based nonprofit’s 43-year history.
The six-time NBA championship winner has had a long association with the nonprofit, first working with the organization in 1989.
A statement from Make-a-Wish said the 59-year-old billionaire hoped his gesture would inspire others to donate to the foundation.
“For the past 34 years, it’s been an honor to partner with Make-A-Wish and help bring a smile and happiness to so many kids,” Jordan said in a news release.
“Witnessing their strength and resilience during such a tough time in their lives has truly been an inspiration.
“I can’t think of a better birthday gift than seeing others join me in supporting Make-A-Wish so that every child can experience the magic of having their wish come true.”
Make-A-Wish said Jordan had granted “hundreds” of wishes to children all over the world since 1989.
His multimillion-dollar donation will be used to create an endowment to help grant wishes in the future for children and young people with serious illnesses.
“Everyone knows about Michael’s legacy on the basketball court, but it’s what he has consistently done off the court when no one’s watching that makes him a true legend for wish families and the wider Make-A-Wish community,” said Make-A-Wish America chief executive Leslie Motter.
Jordan is regarded by many as the greatest basketball player in history, with six NBA Finals MVP awards in addition to his championship rings.
He also won five season MVP awards and was a 14-time All-Star during a career that spanned 1984 to 2003.