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Russell Westbrook, Thunder players visit young tornado victims in hospital (video)

 russell-westbrook

On the heels of the announcement that Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant pledged to donate $1 million to the Red Cross to assist in relief efforts in the aftermath of the tragic tornado that tore through the region on Monday, news surfaced that the Thunder organization responded in kind on Tuesday as well, matching Durant’s donation with an additional $1 million.

Not only that, members of the Thunder organization, including Russell Westbrook, Hasheem Thabeet and DeAndre Liggins, as well as head coach Scott Brooks, visited the OU Children’s Hospital on Tuesday to visit children injured and affected by the tornado.

Perhaps the most poignant and touching moment is when Westbrook, still in a wheelchair after season-ending knee surgery, greets a child and the two exchange a high-five:

When tragedies like the devastating tornado hit so close to home, as was the case with the horrible scene in Moore, a suburb of Oklahoma City, it’s refreshing to see professional athletes recognize the tremendous impact they can have on their communities simply by making themselves available to those most affected. Sure, it won’t take all the pain away nor will it replace everything that has been lost, but if even for a moment interacting with their sports heroes helps people — especially children — temporarily forget about what they are going through, it is all worth it, in more ways than these athletes can possibly imagine.

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