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Wizards' Wall hosts back-to-school event (Photos)

Sunday - 8/10/2014, 8:42am  ET

John Wall Wizards (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
Washington Wizards player John Wall handed out backpacks and school supplies to D.C. students as part of a back-to-school encouragement and outreach effort. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
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WASHINGTON - You can think of it as a pep-rally to get kids psyched to go back to school -- especially since children in the D.C. area will be heading back to school in a little more than two weeks.

On Saturday, Washington Wizards point guard John Wall didn't just hold a backpack giveaway, he hand-delivered each and every backpack at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington in Northeast D.C. to the 250 students ages 9-13 who were lucky enough to be selected for the back to school event.

Wall says this is his first "Back 2 School Squad," but it will not be his last. He says, "Even next year it'll probably be even bigger because I want to keep it going as an annual event," Wall said.

The Wizard player wears the number 2 on his jersey and he says these kids are his squad. Hence the term "2 squad," which is the logo that's on the front of the specially designed backpacks.

For Wall, showing up is hugely important. He said, "Being here in person instead of just setting up an event and not coming, lets the kids know that you care and them and that you support them."

Wall said he's been in their shoes and to have an NBA player show up and give these children motivation is pretty priceless. Wall said, "You definitely want to see them come through tough times and try and change their lives and become better for themselves." He said he was blessed, so he's paying it forward.

Each child not only got to meet the basketball star as he gave them their backpack, but they also got their picture taken with him. Eleven-year old Zion Russell from Upper Marlboro who plays basketball on Team Maryland Elite (Amateur Athletic Union) was thrilled to meet the Wizards star. Russell said, "It makes it seem like John Wall really cares." He said it was exciting and a good experience to meet John Wall in person. "So I can tell all my friends and family about it."

Wall held a similar event Friday in Raleigh, North Carolina at his hometown recreation center where he spent a lot of time growing up as a child.

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