MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 01: Andrew Bogut NBA player attends the North Melbourne AFL Grand Final Breakfast at Etihad Stadium on October 1, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)
Earlier this year, the state of Queensland, located in the north-eastern area of Australia, was devastated by massive floods. The floods impacted over 200,000 residents and caused an estimated $30 billion (Australian) in overall damage. 35 people were confirmed dead and nine are still missing.
Andrew Bogut, an Australian native and former star center for the University of Utah Runnin' Utes, quickly stepped in to help those affected by the floods. In January, to raise money for the flood victims, Bogut auctioned off a NBA Dream Package, which included four nights in Los Angeles, tickets to the L.A. Lakers, Universal Studios and an all-access trip to Milwaukee, where the winner received a tour of the Bucks' training facility led by Bogut himself, dinner with Bogut and courtside seats to a game.
The auction raised close to $40,000 for those victims, even though, earlier in the process, some bids were proven to be fake.
Andrew Bogut's assistance to those in dire need exemplifies the qualities I think we all look for in our favorite athletes. It's that giving back to the community when no one really expects you to. It's assisting in disaster relief, even if you're not directly affected by the destruction. It's using your influence and celebrity for good.
Bogut was a phenomenal player at Utah, one of the best to ever don a uniform here, but I think we've also come to see that he's also a phenomenal person.
He is what we look for in athlete heroes. For all he accomplished as a Runnin' Ute and what he might accomplish as a NBA player, in my mind anyway, none of that will ever rival his great character, and that's saying something.
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