The worlds of football and basketball collided as NFL stars joined Coach Sean Payton and Russell Wilson courtside for the Nuggets’ latest win. Meanwhile, Wilson recently attended a charity fundraiser in New York and shared a heartfelt message on Instagram. In a captivating gala event, NFL quarterback Russell Wilson took the stage, emphasizing the power of community connections.

Recognizing the impact of youth, Wilson praised the efforts of his team in establishing the transformative Jon Diaz Community Center. And, this ambitious project is bringing hope and opportunity to Nedrow.

Wilson shares event highlights on Instagram


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On May 6, in Syracuse, New York, Danger Russ, accompanied by fellow NFL players and colleagues, attended a fundraiser organized by veteran Latavius Murray. The event aimed to support the Jon Diaz Community Center, a new education and recreation facility in Murray’s hometown of Nedrow. The gala was emceed by NewsChannel9’s anchor Christie Casciano.

Hours ago, Wilson expressed his thoughts on the event by sharing a video on Instagram with the caption “Stay you. Don’t lose heart.” He also included pictures from the event in a thread of this post.

The fundraiser aimed to generate funds for the non-profit center named after Jon Diaz, a close friend of Murray who tragically lost his life in a shooting incident in Syracuse in 2016 (A man named Sangsouriyanh Maniphonh was accused of shooting Jonathan Diaz on a street with many bars after they were kicked out of one of them. Maniphonh allegedly shot Diaz in the chest after an argument and fight, and Diaz later died in the hospital).

While, the event successfully raised over $100,000 for the Jon Diaz Community Center, thanks to the sponsorship by Victory Sports Medicine.

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In attendance were notable NFL figures, including Free Safety Justin Simmons from Denver Broncos, wide receiver Gabe Davis from Buffalo Bills, and running back Kenneth Gainwell from Philadelphia Eagles. The evening featured various activities such as photo opportunities with the NFL players, dancing, live music, and an auction of valuable items.

Russell’s speech and community connection at the Gala event

More from the stage of the event, where, Russell Wilson, the star NFL QB, delivered a speech at the gala emphasizing the significance of building strong community connections. “When it comes to community, you know we all have children, we all have people that we impact or inspire people that mean something to us, especially youth,” according to the LocalSyr report.


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via Getty

He acknowledged the impact that youth have on shaping the future and commended Murray, his family, and their team for their efforts in establishing the Jon Diaz Community Center. “Youth are our change makers of tomorrow and so I think that this opportunity that Latavius and his family and his whole team has done a great job of the Jon Diaz Community Center.”

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Murray’s fundraising was intended for the center through an event at the Oncenter, with the goal of constructing a recreation and education facility in Nedrow. The estimated start date for construction is set for 2024, and currently, the project is in the design phase with VIP Structures.

Ticket prices for the event start at $150 for individual attendees, while sponsors can purchase tables for 10 guests, starting at $1,500. Murray’s vision for the center aims to benefit the community and bring a much-needed space for recreation and education to the area.