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‘DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE ISLANDS:’ Tim Duncan And Kenny Chesney Raise Money For Hurricane Relief In The Virgin Islands

PUTTIN’ ON MY BEST WILL SMITH IMITATION: Tim Duncan poses with a basketball in St. Croix.

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SAN ANTONIO — Retired Virgin Islands-born NBA star Tim Duncan is asking for help for the territory, decimated by Hurricane Irma just days ago, and effete country-western singer Kenny Chesney says he is launching a relief foundation for the islands.

Duncan, who played 19 seasons for the San Antonio Spurs, said in The Players’ Tribune that he is donating $250,000 immediately to storm relief efforts and will match donations up to the first $1 million.

Duncan was raised in St. Croix, which was crippled by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 when he was 13. He said he will charter a plane to ship supplies from San Antonio when the weather allows, and put together a team to manage the relief efforts.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about my old neighborhood in St. Croix, where I recently took my kids,” he wrote. “I showed them where I used to play with my friends when I was their age. I showed them my high school Now I’m asking myself, What will still be there after the storms?”

“I’m writing this to ask for your help in the relief efforts, but I’m also asking you not to forget about islands like the Virgin Islands and St. Martin and others,” Duncan said. “The news of the storm may fade from the headlines, but there are still real people there — good people — who need your goodwill, and who will never forget your generosity.”

Elsewhere, country singer Kenny Chesney has vowed to help in any way he can “to relieve some stress from people that I’ve really grown to love over the years.”

The Nashville-based singer has a $15 million home on St. John, which he said was completely destroyed, insurance estimates to follow.

“It’s just simply gone,” Chesney said on HLN’s Morning Express with Robin Meade. “That place and the people mean so much more to me than my house.

“I’ve always felt that music was medicine,” he continued, adding that he has started a relief foundation called Love for Love City.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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‘DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE ISLANDS:’ Tim Duncan And Kenny Chesney Raise Money For Hurricane Relief In The Virgin Islands