You’ve got 99 reasons to love JJ Watt – here’s one more.
IF YOU AREN’T AWARE OF WHAT J.J. WATT DOES ON THE FIELD, I’M CURIOUS WHERE YOU GOT THAT ROCK YOU’VE BEEN HIDING UNDER. THE WORK THAT #99 PUTS IN OFF THE FIELD – I’M NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT SHOWING UP TO THE WORKOUT ROOM AT 4AM WITH THE CLEANING CREW, FILMING FORD AND HEB COMMERCIALS OR GRACING THE COVER OF ESPN THE MAG WITH THE BEAUTIFUL KATY PERRY – IT’S THE OTHER STUFF THAT IS JUST AS IMPRESSIVE.
It sounds hard to believe, but believe it.
That same heart, determination and work ethic you see from Watt on the field is the same intensity and love he puts into his foundation, the Justin J. Watt Foundation, a 501c(3) that reaches out to middle schools in Wisconsin and Houston with insufficient funding for after-school athletic programs, or no afterschool athletics whatsoever. No one knows more about the importance of afterschool athletics for building character and athletic ability than Watt himself. “The Justin J. Watt Foundation encourages children to dream big and work hard,” says J.J. Watt. “We hope to provide the motivation and means to turn those big dreams and hard work into something incredible.”
Tickets for his 2nd Annual J.J. Watt Charity Classic at Constellation Field in Sugar Land May 1 sold out within minutes and once again crashed the ticketing website thanks to eager fans. The nighttime event will feature defensive and offensive players from the Houston Texans on opposing teams under “Friday Night Lights,” a home run derby, silent auction and fireworks following the game. If you didn’t get the coveted tickets, there are still ways to help the Foundation and local kids by visiting their website and sharing the info with schools in need of funding.
“The Justin J. Watt Foundation has been a strong supporter of after-school sports for middle school kids in the Greater Houston area for the past three years. We have donated more than $800,000 in funding for things such as team uniforms, sports equipment and safety gear which can be used for years to come. We know that when kids look forward to playing on a team after school, they tend to perform better in the classroom and have better attendance. Participating in sports after school also provides kids with opportunities to take personal responsibility, become leaders, develop healthy lifestyles and be accountable to others,” says Connie Watt, Vice President of the Foundation.
The Foundation anticipates reaching the $1 million mark by the end of 2015! To learn more, visit www.jjwfoundation.org.
The Sugar Land Skeeters are part of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball Clubs (ALPB) and play 140 regular season games – 70 home at Constellation Field and 70 away. Constellation Field is a state-of-theart stadium just 20 minutes from downtown Houston. The ALPB is considered the highest level of Minor League Baseball and is a preferred route for experienced players to be scouted by Major League Baseball. The Skeeters have been around since 2012 and have finished the last two seasons with winning records. www.SugarLandSkeeters.com
This article originally ran in the first-ever sports issue for Local Houston Magazine (formerly 002) in March 2015. If you didn’t snag a print issue, click here for the online version of this JJ Watt story.