Just as he's about to end a week-long trip to the African nation of Chad as a UNICEF ambassador, Lakers forward Pau Gasol plans on getting involved this year with another civic project.
"I'm finalizing the details so I can have my own foundation," Gasol told The Times on Thursday in a phone interview. "I'll continue to have the relationships I have with UNICEF and other organizations. But I will also have my own foundation that I will be very involved with because I want to continue to have a big impact and make a big difference in different fields, particularly with children."
Gasol said he hasn't set anything in stone on the staffing or the launch date. But within the next year, Gasol plans to start his foundation based in the United States and will have a branch in his native Spain. He said he already knows what areas the foundation will focus on addressing.
"It's going to be centered on reducing obesityin developed countries and promoting physical activity so that people are in good shape and good health," Gasol said. "In undeveloped countries, it's about fighting malnutrition and at the same time, promoting and encouraging kids once they're in good health to encourage them to get involved with playing sports. We believe it's a great and powerful tool for their education, growth, relationship and values."