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Atlanta Hawks Visit United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Coach Mike Budenholzer: “Hopefully in some small way we can make sure things like that never happen again.” Read More

By / March 31, 2014

The Atlanta Hawks visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on Friday, USA today reports. Bruce Levenson, the Hawks’ managing partner, has a long-standing association with the museum as a donor, and his mother-in-law, Irene Boyarsky, survived the Holocaust as a teenager. Before the tour began, Levenson introduced the team to Boyarsky and played a short clip from her survivor testimony, recorded by the USC Shoah Foundation in 1998.

Graduates of USHMM’s youth outreach program—which was founded by Levenson and his business partner Ed Peskowitz—led the team’s players, coaches, and support crew through the museum.

“It was powerful,” said power forward Elton Brand. “What hit me the most was the atrocities were not too long ago. There are still survivors, and I met two of them. That’s surreal to me.”

Coach Mike Budenholzer, who has been to museum several times, emphasized the importance of player development: “We want individuals who care about what’s going on or what’s happened in the world besides just basketball. We learn from history and we learn from what’s going on today and hopefully in some small way we can make sure things like that never happen again.”

The impact was undeniably profound. After the visit, center Al Horford tweeted, “Life changing experience today at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.”