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Bennedict Mathurin, Adidas giving back to Haitian youth on Dessalines Day
The Pacers guard is a Haitian-Canadian whose parents migrated from Haiti. On Oct. 17, Haiti kids were gifted gear and a special time thanks to Mathurin.
Bennedict Mathurin was born in Montreal, Canada but he’s also of Haitian descent. He speaks four languages — English, French, Spanish, and Creole — and often mentions how he’s a proud Canadian and aspires to play on the Olympic Team next summer.
But the Pacers guard also hasn’t forgotten his roots. On Tuesday, Oct. 17, The Barbancourt Foundation’s community center in Haiti is hosting an event with more than 300 youth receiving Adidas gear thanks to Mathurin, who signed an endorsement deal with the shoe and apparel company one year ago.
The day will also include food, music, dancing, and basketball drills.
“For me, it’s to give back to the less fortunate,” Mathurin said after practice. “I’m from Haiti so giving back to my community is always a great thing. Also (for them) to know that I’m Haitian and I made it, then some kids from Haiti can make it too.”
Earlier this summer, he hosted his first youth camp in his hometown and in Indianapolis. It was built on his skills and for hoopers who needed a boost
According to a press release, it will take place on Dessalines Day, a national holiday in Haiti that commemorates the life of Jean-Jacques Dessalines. Haitians view it as a day to remember one of the founding fathers of Haiti who played a pivotal role in the Haitian Revolution, leading to its independence in 1804.
Mathurin’s parents migrated from Haiti and he loves nothing more than an authentic Haitian meal. Especially chicken, rice and beans prepared by his mom — it’s unbeaten, he said — so last season, the Pacers surprised him by having his mom and sister make him a home-cooked Haitian meal.
Locally, he recommends Bon Appéit near 46th and Lafayette Road.
Mathurin has only been to Haiti once, back when he was 11 years old.
"Supporting the Haitian community is important to me,” he said. “I’m grateful to be working with the Barbancourt Foundation and Adidas to provide gear for youth in Haiti. And, to do it on a day that celebrates freedom is even more meaningful. This is just the beginning; I’m committed to making an impact in Haiti and elevating Haitians across the diaspora.”
ABOUT THE BARBANCOURT FOUNDATION
The Barbancourt Foundation started in the late 90’s to meet the needs of the community of Damien.
The Barbancourt Foundation services the community in the sectors of health, education, arts & culture.
In December 2021, the Barbancourt Foundation opened a health clinic to provide much needed services to the population in Gynecology,Ophthalmology and Internal Medicine.
The clinic also contains a pharmacy where they have access to basic medications.
Through the clinic, the Barbancourt Foundation carries out cancer screenings for women and basic health education for young girls.
The Barbancourt Foundation has a school of Basketball and Soccer for young athletes of the community, providing them with safe and wholesome activities.
The Barbancourt Foundation signed a partnership with the Haitian Basketball Federation, recently renewed for three more years, allowing us to reinforce the capacities of the coaches. As a result, our teams have reached the semis and finals of many local basketball competitions.