Some of the best accumulation of athletes, celebrities and rappers were at Long Beach City College Gym on Sunday to participate in the John Ross III Celebrity Basketball Charity Game. John Ross, a Jordan High School Alumni, went on to the University of Washington in 2013 to become one of the best receivers their college has ever seen. Drafted 9th overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2017, John has gone to play in the NFL for two seasons now but has not forgotten his home.
On the last day of June, Ross hosted his first ever Charity Celebrity Basketball game. A change of pace from last year as he hosted a celebrity flag football game last year. Ross created this game to help support his foundation the John Ross Foundation. The foundation looks to give back to underprivileged youth in both Long Beach and Cincinnati.
Ross called on one of Long Beach's best athletes, DeSean Jackson to captain the other team. Jackson was a stand out player for Long Beach Poly who now plays for the Philadelphia Eagles. Ross assembled an all star cast of athletes from football players Keenan Allen, Dante Pettis, Ameer Abdullah, Adoree Jackson, Jay Ajayi, Hall of Famer Terell Ownes and Clipper Big man Montrezl Harell. Along with some musicians such as “I am Compton” and “Ray J.”
“It’s surreal,” Ross said referring to hosting a game with so many celebrities. “Growing up, I never in a million years I’d be in this sort of position.”
Montrezl Harrell of the LA Clippers was the only NBA basketball player present at the game. When asked how many points he was going to put up said “I'm not sure, im just here for some cardio,” and boy did Montrezl get his in. Harrell was clearly the best player on the floor and showed it with an array of alley oops, dunking, and shot blocking ability. Dante Pettis, current San Francisco 49ers wide receiver threw down a reverse dunk during a breakaway showing off his athleticism.
Team DeSean Jackson took an early and commanding lead with Harell and Jackson leading the way. Nearly doubling the score of the other team. Team Ross stormed back in the second half and nearly had a chance to nearly win, but unfortunately came up short and lost by one.
The John Ross III Foundation benefits from events like these and the donations of others to help it grow. The foundation, with the help of many community leaders, helps focus on bringing youth to their full potential. Working on bringing both educational and extracurricular opportunities to expand their horizons.
If you are looking to learn more or donate to the John Ross II Foundation, you can donate here: