For the last two years, former NBA All-Star Vin Baker has returned to Connecticut for his “Addiction Ends Here” 5k. This year, the event is going virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the message of hope remains the same.
“Certainly the cause and what bouncing back stands for is still important and probably more important than it was last year,” said Baker, who graduated from Old Saybrook High School before setting the all-time scoring record at the University of Hartford.
This year’s virtual 5k will be held from July 1 to 15. Participants can register online at vinbaker.com and they are encouraged to share photos and videos of their run on social media.
“We’ve had people from all over the country, because it’s a virtual race, sign up,” said Baker.
The former first round NBA draft pick knows all about overcoming adversity.
“Because of alcoholism and addiction, I lost everything and I think the worst part of that was not losing the career but it was that I had lost hope,” said Baker.
Now nine years sober, he wants to give that hope to others who may be struggling. Baker is also an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks and he is looking forward to the NBA returning in July.
“People, when you see sports, it plays a big part in our world and I know here in Milwaukee we’re excited about the opportunity to get back to a sense of normalcy,” said Baker.
He also hopes to see the league and its players use their platforms to help promote racial equality.
“Anyone with a conscience that’s seen these videos, anyone with a heart, it’s broken the hearts of those people so I think the most important thing for us as a country is to stay together, to come together to see what we can do and continue to march forward,” Baker said.