A famous Rocket launched his charitable mission with a little help from his friends. Inspired to benefaction by his own upbringing in Switzerland, where he was born to a single mother and lived off-and-on with his brothers in welfare orphanages, Clint Capela established the CC15 Foundation to help low-income, single-parent families in the Houston community.
Capela hosted his foundation's first major event, a "Celebrity Slam," for 180 guests at the JW Marriott Houston Downtown last Friday, March 29, and raised $215,000 for the cause. The celebrities, of course, were none other than Capela and a handful of his most famous teammates, including James Harden, Chris Paul, PJ Tucker, and Austin Rivers, who met with fans and autographed the basketballs guests received upon entrance.
Over cocktails, the crowd bid on covetable silent auction items like a JJ Watt-signed Texans helmet, Hakeem Olajuwon-signed Rockets jersey, and a diamond and ruby necklace from Jianna Jewelers.
In the ballroom, a familiar voice led the program: Matt Thomas, announcer for the Rockets, served as the evening's emcee. Thomas spoke with Capela about his childhood, which became the impetus for his foundation to help less fortunate children and their families experience the same opportunities provided to their dual-parent, middle- and upper-class counterparts.
Alexa Albrecht of DePelchin Children's Center revealed Capel is the only celebrity to actually visit the foster care and adoption agency in its nearly 30-year existence. Albrecht spoke of Capela's impact on the foundation and the Texas children it serves, noting the newly established CC15 Foundation has already changed lives there.
Capela, who's only 24, is following his peers' lead taking on substantial charitable work. Cp3, who leads the Chris Paul Family Foundation, regularly supports local organizations like the Urban Enrichment Institute, a youth leadership and development program for young at-risk males, and The Way Home, a collaborative coalition to end homelessness. Harden is known for his JH-Town Weekend, a star-studded series of charitable events culminating in a celebrity basketball game to fundraise for his 3 the Harden Way Foundation. Tucker, perhaps the NBA's most famous sneakerhead, has auctioned off exclusive kicks to benefit kids' charities. And, just days before Capela's foundation launch, Rivers—the latest addition to the Rockets' roster—joined NAOT Footwear and local retailer All About Feet to donate more than 300 new pairs of shoes to homeless women at Star of Hope's Women and Family Development Center.
It's a generous team.
Later on Friday, TV host Matt Rogers led a live auction on more sports fan must-haves like court-side Rockets seats, a private dinner with Capela, a signed Michael Jordan jersey, and a private 36-person suite at an Astros game. Dinner—and the highly anticipated UH Cougars game against Kentucky—followed.