Spurs legend Sean Elliott speaks at a Children’s Advocacy Center event

Even after succeeding in college and the NBA, San Antonio Spurs legend Sean Elliott has never been shy about using his platform to help others.

Elliott, who won a championship with Spurs in 1999 and won the hearts of Spurs fans with his 3-point “Memorial Day Miracle” in the Western Conference Finals that season, has always made it a priority to play. helping others in need.

Elliott presented the gesture Thursday as the keynote speaker for the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Coastal Bend Garden of Hope Gala at the Ortiz Center in downtown Corpus Christi.

“To be honest, I didn’t know about the Children’s Advocacy Center a few months ago,” Elliott said. “They reached out to me and then once you read their mission and what they were trying to accomplish it meant a lot to me and my wife Claudia. We are honored that they asked me to be here and speak at their first gala.”

Former Spurs forward Sean Elliott takes a photo with members of the Children's Advocacy Center of the Coastal Bend during Thursday's Garden of Hope Gala at the Ortiz Center in downtown Corpus Christi.

Since 1994, the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Coastal Bend has been dedicated to bringing healing and justice to every child who walks through its doors.

The center offers specialized forensic interviews and therapeutic recovery services for victims of sexual abuse, serious physical violence, drug addiction, human trafficking and witnesses of violent crimes, homicides and domestic violence. .

“I’m just lucky to be able to use my platform,” Elliott said. “You can use it for good and for things that aren’t so good. It’s an amazing cause and I’m so proud to be associated with it.

“I want them to know how much they are appreciated, that’s the most important thing. The fact that everyone is doing their part to solve a major problem in this country and the fact that so many people have come forward to make a difference is the most important thing.”

FILE - NBA champions San Antonio Spurs, from left, Tim Duncan, Antonio Daniels, Gerard King, Sean Elliott and Avery Johnson celebrate after defeating the New York Knicks 78-77 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals NBA 1999, June 25, 1999, at Madison Square Garden in New York.  (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

The Children’s Advocacy Center serves 10 counties across Coastal Bend. In fact, the center conducted 1,588 forensic interviews and provided services to 814 families at no cost in 2021.

Executive Director Clarissa Mora said the local nonprofit had its most successful fundraiser this year due to Elliott’s appearance and the connection he has to the South Texas community. .

Elliott’s appearance helps showcase basketball-related items at this year’s gala auction, which included Sean Elliott signed basketballs, Spurs home court tickets and more.

“We wanted to cast someone who is truly dedicated to serving disadvantaged communities and children,” Mora said of Elliott. “He’s a great guy and an absolute pleasure to work with.”

Spurs forward Sean Elliott, left, scrambles for the ball alongside Lakers goalie Kobe Bryant during a game in San Antonio.

Elliott will begin his 21st season calling Spurs games on television, which has included television appearances on ESPN, NBC, Fox Sports Southwest and now Bally Sports Southwest.

The former Arizona Wildcat, who retired from the NBA in 2001, played alongside Hall of Famers David Robinson, Tim Duncan and now Manu Ginobili.

Although the Spurs are still looking for their first playoff victory since 2019, Elliott expects a fun season for a young San Antonio team.

“For years I had the absolute best product in the NBA,” Elliott said of Spurs’ decades of winning seasons. “It was easy to call such big games when you had players like David (Robinson), Tony (Parker), Manu (Ginobili) and of course, Tim Duncan. It was always fun to go to work every days and it’s always fun.

“I love watching young guys grow and I love watching them grow before your eyes and improve game by game. If you’re a Spurs fan you’ll have to enjoy the process because it’s going to be fun.”