WASHINGTON — Wizards guard Bradley Beal was honored on Tuesday night by the Council of D.C. for his long track record of work in the community, as representatives of city government declared Oct. 11 ‘Bradley Beal Day.’ They did so in a ceremony at the conclusion of the Wizard’s open practice at Capital One Arena.
Unfortunately for Beal, it coincided with a non-COVID illness that prevented him from attending the event. Instead, his wife and two of his sons were on hand to represent the Beal family, as NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller served as emcee and detailed Beal’s charity work, which earned him the NBA’s Community Assist Award in 2019.
Beal was not there in person, but he did speak to the crowd for several minutes via a video shown on the scoreboard. In his opening remarks, he said he was “super bummed” to not be in the arena.
“This is truly a blessing, an honor. Thank you, Mayor [Muriel] Bowser and the D.C. Council for finding me fit to grant this to me. This is an unbelievable honor, one I will never take for granted,” Beal said.
“Being in D.C. now for 10 years, D.C. has always been my home. It’s welcomed me with open arms ever since I came here. I’ve always felt it was my duty in a way to continue to pour into the community here, to be able to make sure my presence was felt and seen. Along those lines, I never made it about me. It was more about the people I was trying to impact. It’s still an ongoing fight and journey that I’m constantly pushing today.”
Beal has impacted the D.C. community in a variety of ways over the years, including by mentoring students at Ron Brown College Preparatory School in Northeast D.C. This past summer, he helped refurbish an outdoor basketball court at the Banneker Recreation Center near Howard University.
As Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. explained on Tuesday, Beal has a longstanding connection with the D.C. community in part because he has signed multiple contract extensions to remain in the area. This offseason, he signed another deal that is set to keep him with the Wizards for five more years.
“We’ve seen throughout his tenure here, his willingness to give back to the community. It’s a lot of things that are published, but there are so many more that go under the radar. It’s a credit to who he is as a person; well-raised, well-spoken. He understands and he gets it. He’s very blessed, but he has the opportunity to impart some of those blessings unto others,” Unseld Jr. said.
As Unseld Jr. noted, not all of Beal’s community efforts are known to the public. A small example took place at Wizards practice last week, as the basketball team from McDonogh High School in Baltimore visited the team’s facility. Most players on the Wizards’ roster stopped by to greet the players. Beal, though, stuck around to speak with them for nearly 30 minutes, sharing his wisdom about basketball and life.
Beal is set to enter his 11th NBA season, already with 10 years in Washington. His impact on the community has been profound and now he has an official designation in the city of Washington, D.C.