INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - There was no basketball Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Instead, it was an early holiday for hundreds of people from shelters all around central Indiana.
The 22nd Annual Come to Our House Thanksgiving Dinner, put on by the Indiana Pacers Foundation, was hosted by Victor Oladipo and Doug McDermott. Several players manned the food line.
Many of Wednesday’s guests didn’t plan to have a traditional Thanksgiving meal this year, so the Pacers set out to give them just that.
“It kind of kicks off the holidays for me,” Oladipo told Eyewitness Sports. “Thanksgiving is the season of giving, you know. I said in my prayer earlier, in order for us to rise, you must lift one another first. For me, it’s all about giving back. I remember what it was like, not to be able to understand or know when your next meal is coming, so if I can make sure that can change for a day or even a couple of hours, I’m going to do it.”
Even amid a playing career paused recently by injury, Oladipo said he knows he’s fortunate.
“I’m thankful for my injury, honestly,” he said. “It could have been way worse. At the end of the day, I don’t take anything for granted. I’m blessed and I’m thankful for where I’m at. I know I’ve still got a long way to go in life and my best days are ahead of me.”