CHAMBLEE, Ga. — A former Atlanta Hawks star is opening up the doors to his training center – not so you can work out, but so you can cast your ballot early.
Current Denver Nuggets player Paul Millsap says he wants to use his platform to help people exercise their right to vote.
“I was I was filled with joy,” Millsap told Channel 2′s Tom Jones.
He wasn’t filled with joy because his team had won a playoff game. Millsap was elated Dekalb County’s Elections Board voted to allow his training facility in Chamblee to be used as an early voting site. It will be available from October 12th to the 30th.
[COUNTY-BY-COUNTY: Where can I early vote in north Georgia?]
“We got a large facility man. Like I said, voting was one thing I was passionate about especially going into the bubble,” Millsap explained.
Millsap spoke about the collaboration while his team was still in the bubble in Florida in the playoffs. His team eventually lost. But his willingness to talk about voting in the middle of a playoff series shows how important voting is to him.
“For me this is a crucial time for us, for our community, for our country. And it starts at the voting booth,” he said.
While other players wore social justice messages on their jerseys in games, Millsap simply wore Vote.
“As a person who is a professional athlete and a person who has a platform, I want to use it for good,” Millsap said.
He’s using his CORE4 training center for good. Millsap’s team reached out to Dekalb County with a proposal to use it for early voting. The county loved the idea.
“When I heard the news, I was excited,” Millsap said.
“It’s 44,000 square feet,” said DeAngelo Simmons, Millsap’s uncle and the CEO of CORE4.
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The training center is usually reserved for elite NBA stars and young athletes. The teens get more than athletic training here. They learn about financial literacy, nutrition and character development. A sports psychologist was on hand teaching a group of kids while we were there.
“He is teaching them about accountability on and off the court,” Simmons said.
But it’s the facilities use as an early voting site that has so many here excited.
Millsap and his team say the gym offers more than enough room.
“You can actually have people in here along the backside and still social distance,” Simmons pointed out.
And, they say, the young athletes will gain new perspective as well.
“For them to actually see people voting and the impact,” Simmons said.
Millsap says it’s all a part of his vision to be a difference maker.
“I wanted to do something. I don’t want to just sit back and talk about it,” he said.
He still lives here in the offseason and was proud to point out he still votes here.
Cox Media Group