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NFL and NBA Alumni Give Back in a Major Way

Former NFL Players bring over 20 professional athletes and celebrities to SE Atlanta for the holidays. 


Could you imagine the type of holiday plans athletes must have? 

An Island getaway?  

A trip to Paris? 

Maybe they hop from one mansion to the next, indulging in only the finest foods and drinks known to man!

Or maybe I’m just being dramatic. 

Honestly, you could imagine almost anything, and for some athletes your assumptions may be spot-on. In Atlanta, GA’s Zone 6 however, two former NFL Players are using their talent and network to empower their community.

Former Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman, Julius Williams, and two-time Super Bowl champion, Anthony Smith, are preparing to kickoff their fourth annual “Game for Giving” celebrity basketball game. The former teammates and longtime friends have drawn a number of notable athletes and tv personalities to Atlanta for the event,  including two-time NBA champion Josh Powell, Ceasar of VH1’s Black Ink Crew, and the legendary Evander Holyfield. 

The concept for “Game for Giving” was originated by Williams and Smith, both of whom envisioned an event that would not only galvanize the people of zone 6, but also make the holiday’s a bit easier for families in need. 

“We intentionally chose to do this event here in Zone 6 versus a Buckhead or Johns Creek,” Williams explained. “We knew in the beginning it would be crucial to have the game in a neighborhood like this. The kids wouldn’t expect to see NFL Players and NBA players in their neighborhood, and at the end of the day this is about inspiring them.”

Williams (left) and Smith (right) are no strangers to giving back; the two athletes collaborated with longtime friend and business partner, Mike Suares, to created Battle of the Trenches. The youth-based nonprofit began operating in 2015 and is geared toward developing young athletes. 

“Battle of the Trenches allows Ant, Mike, and I to give back to our community on a regular basis. I think that if we continue to reinforce the work we do every day with events like this, where we can give back in a major way, we can create more impact.

With this years roster of  young NFL and NBA alum, the game promises to offer an experience that fans of the event haven’t seen before. 

“We have a lot of younger players on both the NFL and the NBA side this year.  You could say that it’s created more competition among us all. Historically we’ve had older players so things are a bit more intense in terms of competition.” 

And while the age the players may seem like a big jump for some, the fans of the annual celebrity game are no stranger to change. Williams, Smith, and a number of other NFL alum went head to head with the United Minsters Alliance of Metro Atlanta for the inaugural game in 2014. However,  once Savvy Affairs took over as event planner the following year the team made the decision to incorporate the NBA. Since then, the game has gone on to grow in popularity and reach. 

Here’s to what the Vegas Sports Daily team knows will be a great success!

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