Imari Varela accepts a donation check from Alex Kirk on behalf of the youth who will benefit from the donation. Photo by Nancy Coombs/ UNM-LA
UNM-LA Community Education Program Coordinator Mike Katko talks with Alex Kirk about how the donation will support the Summer Program for Youth. Photo by Nancy Coombs/UNM-LA
Judge Alan Kirk, UNM-LA CEO Dr. Cindy Rooney, and Imara Varela stand with Alex Kirk as he presents a donation to support the college’s Summer Program for Youth. Photo by Nancy Coombs/UNM-LA
Pro basketball player Alex Kirk visited the UNM-Los Alamos (UNM-LA) campus June 13 to make a $1,000 donation to UNM-LA Community Education’s Summer Program for Youth (SPY). UNM-LA Community Education Program Coordinator Mike Katko said, “With this support from Alex, we will be able to add a component about living a healthy lifestyle to our regular programming.”
The donation was made from the Alex Kirk Foundation, whose mission is “To raise awareness in our communities, families, schools and local agencies to foster the recognition and growth of physical activity for boys and girls.” (Retrieved from www.alexkirkfoundation.com/about_us. May 14, 2018.)
A local success story, Kirk played basketball for Los Alamos High School and The University of New Mexico Lobos prior to starting his professional career. He has played with the NBA, and for teams in Italy, China and Turkey, and he will return to Alvark Tokyo in Japan for a second season in the fall.
During the short time he is in his hometown this summer, Kirk has awarded three scholarships, sponsored basketball camps in Los Alamos, Espanola,and Clayton, provided funds to support the local junior golf program, and helped refinish the floor of the basketball court at the Espanola Teen Center.
Kirk’s father Judge Alan Kirk said, “It’s important to Alex to stay grounded in New Mexico. Additionally, it’s exciting for children in these smaller communities to have an opportunity to interact with a professional world athlete.”
“We appreciate Alex’s commitment to the youth in Northern New Mexico and his support of the UNM-LA summer programs. Alex represents someone who has successfully pursued his passion as a career and who consistently gives back to his community.” UNM-LA CEO Dr. Cindy Rooney said.
UNM-Los Alamos is an innovative, rigorous, and affordable comprehensive branch community college that provides foundations for transfer, leading-edge career programs, and lifelong learning opportunities. More information about UNM-LA is available at losalamos.unm.edu.