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Cam Reddish partners with Pepsi to give packages to essential workers; gives update on hiatus workouts

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The rookie represents a good cause for city and organization, with optimism about basketball after the pandemic.

Atlanta Hawks v Orlando Magic Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Cam Reddish has decided to lend a helping hand.

The Atlanta Hawks rookie is one of five celebrity representatives for the Pepsi “Stronger Together” campaign. On pepsistrongertogether.com, people can nominate an essential worker for their selfless service and hard work during the pandemic. Pepsi will randomly select 25 nominees for a chance to win $1,000 care packages.

The “Stronger Together” platform has distributed food to nurses and essential workers around the southeast, with the celebrities who have affiliation with some of the cities in Pepsi’s future stops. Reddish is the Atlanta participant for the project.

“This is really just my way of trying to give back,” Reddish said in an interview with Peachtree Hoops. “When I first got here, Atlanta was really supportive of me, so I’m just trying to give my support back and show some love to the frontline workers.”

Other celebrity representatives down for the cause in the city they play(ed) include Alonzo Mourning and DJ Irie, who are both affiliated with the Miami Heat, Jaren Jackson, Jr. of the Memphis Grizzlies, and Dwayne Haskins of the Washington Redskins. From there, Tampa and Knoxville are also destinations on the schedule for the corporation’s giveaway tour.

History in the city

June 2019 wasn’t Reddish’s introduction to playing in Atlanta, or even in State Farm Arena and the Emory Sports Medicine Complex. In March 2018, Reddish participated in the McDonald’s All-American festivities in the city. During the week, the then 18-year-old won the co-champion title of the boys three-point contest with Kentucky signee Immanuel Quickley. He spent most of his time alongside his future college teammates Tre Jones, R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson. The quartet did multiple joint interviews and danced to some of the Billboard hits at the time like Rich The Kid’s “New Freezer,” featuring Kendrick Lamar.

A lot took place in the two-year span that ultimately led him back to Atlanta, but the advice he said he would give to his younger self remains a constant.

“Stay buried in your faith,” Reddish said. “It’s a roller coaster ride. Just go with it.”

New normal

COVID-19 has not directly affected Reddish or his loved ones, and he said he’s used this time during the NBA suspension to be with family more often.

The Hawks’ reopened its practice facility on May 11, but Reddish said he hasn’t returned yet as of Wednesday afternoon.

“I do plan on going sooner than later,” he added.

In past interviews, he said he hasn’t been able to get shots up because he doesn’t have a goal in his Atlanta apartment, but he’s been doing home workouts.

“I’ve really been staying in the apartment for the most part,” he said on Wednesday afternoon. “I really haven’t been trying to go anywhere. I’ve been trying to follow the guidelines, the directions of the CDC. Just doing what I can.”

Reddish scored over 20 points in three of his last six games before the season’s suspension. After shooting 21% and 32% from the field in October and November, he shot 44% and 55% in February and March. On the night of March 11, his rising rookie season came to a halt.

“It definitely was crazy but I mean we had to do what’s right and just try to keep everybody safe,” Reddish said. “[The season suspension] was a little heartbreaking. Perhaps it’ll come back, we’ll see.”

The Hawks stand at 20-47 at the suspension. A campaign with preseason hopes of a playoff push was quickly derailed by a Kevin Huerter injury in November, John Collins’ 25-game suspension, and constant question marks surrounding the backup point guard and the center position as a whole.

The hope that lived in the preseason is still relevant surrounding the young corps of Reddish, Huerter, Collins, Trae Young, De’Andre Hunter and the addition of Clint Capela heading into next season.

“I feel like we’ll continue to grow as a team,” Reddish said. “I feel like I’m only going to continue to go up, so I’m looking forward to next year.”

Thursday marks the 71st day of no NBA basketball. As fans and citizens split opinions on whether to resume play and “reopen” the country, Reddish had a simple message for all Hawks fans.

“Tell them that I miss them too,” Reddish said. “We shall meet again.”