PHOENIX – Families usually come to St. Vincent De Paul for a hot meal, to help with homework or a student’s clothes, but on Thursday – families were surprised to see two NBA Western Conference champions help serve meals. plates.

Phoenix Suns forwards Cam Johnson and Jalen Smith helped prepare chicken, vegetables and mashed potatoes for families in the valley in need of a hot meal.

A young fan, AJ, said he was “in shock” to see two players from his favorite team wearing aprons instead of shirts.

The aspiring basketball player approached the two at the service line to ask them a few questions about the hard work they had to put in to reach the pro level and remind them of how last season ended.

“You lost in the final,” AJ said.

“I was there,” Cam Johnson said with a smile under his mask.

It is not very common for middle school students to have the opportunity to chat with NBA players in St. Vincent De Paul, but what is more common for the association is helping thousands of families. with regular hot meals, health care, even clothing for housing assistance.

“We’re just asking ‘how can we help you’. Then we sit down and work one-on-one with families and individuals to make sure we can take them to the next level of stability, ”said Ryan Correy of St. Vincent De Paul.

With higher food prices during the holiday months, blackouts in parts of the food supply chain and shortages in the job market, Correy says their nonprofit is not immune challenges, but they are grateful to the Valley community for stepping up their giving.

The night before Smith and Johnson joined the volunteers to serve, the Suns won their 10e game in a row.

Johnson said serving the community is just as much a part of his job as serving jump shots.

“These are opportunities to have an impact on people. A lot of times you sit there and you think basketball is just a game. It’s just a game but it gives us such a big platform. A great platform to help people and a great platform to serve, ”Johnson said.

Correy said St. Vincent De Paul needs volunteer efforts and monetary donations to help continue helping Valley families in need.