Warriors' JaVale McGee hosts 4th annual charity softball game with teammates, celebrities

Two-time champion JaVale McGee of the Golden State Warriors is hosting his fourth annual Water for Life charity softball game Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum. 

Thirteen active Warriors will join a star-studded lineup for the event put on by McGee’s foundation JUGLIFE, which educates on the importance of water consumption while promoting a healthy, active lifestyle and providing water to underdeveloped areas of the world.

With the players out there to have a good time and raise some money, the atmosphere is poised to be full of fun and should excite fans. There will be giveaway opportunities and parking lot booths setup. 

Joining the Warriors are local and national celebrities, musical performers, athletes from other sports and more. Tickets are available it for $30 at juglifewater.com and the event starts at 2:00 p.m.

JUGLIFE was founded on personal experience and came to fruition rather organically, McGee said. When the 7-foot center was playing for the Nuggets in Denver, he realized he was dehydrated often, so he made a commitment to drink a gallon of water a day. And as the tradition progressed, McGee started writing “JUGLIFE” on his water bottles.

And then fans started flashing their water bottles at the games and saying “I’m with JUGLIFE, too,” McGee said. It dawned on him that this could be more than a personal commitment. He was approached by his now-business partner, Kez Reed, with an idea for making it a charity. 

They began with building water wells in Uganda. “After that it was just a trickling effect. It’s a beautiful feeling to be able to help out other people,” Mcgee said. 

About a year after launching the charity, McGee put together the softball game and has done it every year since. The funds McGee and Reed gathered from the first softball game were used to launch water education tours. Since then, the water tours have reached over 10,000 kids, according to Golden State of Mind.

“People don’t understand how important water is, especially kids in the hood,” McGee said. “I’m from the hood, so we didn’t drink water. We drank Kool-Aid. And the artificial drinks we get from the 99 cent store that costs 50 cents are all sugar and high fructose syrup.”

Part of the foundation funds used to build and maintain wells in Africa has also been used to improve the water quality in Flint, Michigan – McGee’s hometown – which has been in the midst of a water crisis since 2014.