Former NBA player Mateen Cleaves restores hope for the holidays

Mateen loves the kids
Mateen loves the kids

Former NBA basketball player Mateen Cleaves was born and raised in Flint, Mich. He attended Michigan State University and was drafted by the NBA after college. Mateen had a seven year run in the NBA playing for teams such as the Detroit Pistons, Seattle Supersonics, Sacramento Kings and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleaves is currently a sports analyst and commentator for Fox sports Detroit’s coverage on “Pistons Live” and the CBS sports network’s NCAA “Inside College Basketball” and Bracket Breakdown.

Mateen founded 1Goal, 1Passion, a nonprofit whose mission is to raise $1.3 million to donate to 1,000 families in need in the state of Michigan during the holidays. The initiative kicked off Saturday Nov. 16, 2013, in Flint with a celebrity bowling tournament and raffle. Participants in the bowling tournament included celebrity basketball players Morris Peterson and Charlie Bell, both natives of Michigan, as well as Super Bowl champion Cato June. Many celebrities lent their voices for advertising and a social media campaign, including former NBA stars Chris Webber and Chauncey Billup.

“One in 4 families throughout the state are living paycheck to paycheck, children are going hungry and jobs are scarce. With the collective efforts of our top sports and business organizations, we hope to make a positive impact and bring some relief and joy to Michigan households during this holiday season,” said Cleaves.

The holiday packages will include funds for utilities, including, gas, electric and water as well as meals and toys for kids and gifts for families.

Those wishing to make a contribution should visit

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