MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - What do you do in the off season when you’re an NBA star? If you're Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, you're helping to rescue refugees in the Mediterranean Sea.
Gasol has been working with the group Proactiva Open Arms, helping to rescue refugees who might otherwise have been left to die in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Spain.
Gasol tweeted out a picture of the rescue of a woman found drifting in a lifeboat, saying, “Frustration, anger, and helplessness. It’s unbelievable how so many vulnerable people are abandoned to their deaths at sea. Deep admiration for these I call my teammates at this time @openarms_fund.”
Frustration, anger, and helplessness. It’s unbelievable how so many vulnerable people are abandoned to their deaths at sea.— Marc Gasol (@MarcGasol) July 17, 2018
Deep admiration for these I call my teammates at this time @openarms_fund pic.twitter.com/TR0KnRsrTE
According to Hoops Hype and USA Today Sports, Gasol said they had intercepted a call between a Libyan patrol ship and merchant, and learned three refugees fleeing a war-torn country who were left on a boat that had been destroyed. When they got there, they reportedly found the woman clinging to driftwood in a lifeboat filled with gasoline and salt. The report says another woman and child were also found, but they had already died.
The report says Gasol was motivated by a picture he saw of a Syrian child who died in 2015 on the Turkish coast, and he wants to set the “best example possible” for his own children.