OKC Thunder: Danilo Gallinari touching letter is just what we needed

JANUARY 22: Danilo Gallinari #8 of the OKC Thunder on the court against the Orlando Magic (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images)
JANUARY 22: Danilo Gallinari #8 of the OKC Thunder on the court against the Orlando Magic (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari wrote a moving piece to Italy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s the message we all needed to hear at this time.

It will take all of us. And it will not be easy. But we will prevail.” These are the words of OKC Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari in a heartfelt piece he recently penned for The Players Tribune.

They are words of empowerment, strength and hope that despite all the challenges the world is facing right now, we will overcome it.

Gallinari’s letter gives insight into how COVID-19 has impacted his homeland of Italy — one of the worst-hit countries in the world.

It also looks into the night of March 11 when the first case of the virus in the NBA was announced in OKC’s game against the Utah Jazz, leading to the suspension of the season. And a warning across the globe about the severity of the pandemic.

We all know Gallo to be an incredible basketball player but off the court, he is also someone who is devoted to giving back to the community.

In recent weeks he has spoken out to share information on COVID-19 and continued to bring awareness of the importance of self-isolation and social distancing. As well as donating test kits to OKC County and helping to fund the building of a new hospital near Milan, Italy.

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He mentions that while being at home he remains in contact with his family and has regular Face Time conversations with his OKC Thunder teammates.

I won’t give too much away because I definitely recommend everyone go and read his letter firsthand, but I will say that it is something we all need.

When people are experiencing unprecedented times like these, it can be hard to know what to do or how to get through it. But Gallinari’s message helps us to know that everything will be okay.

It gives reassurance for many that someone whose family has seen the effects up and close still believes that there is “light at the end of the tunnel.” That this storm will eventually pass.

Near the end of his letter, Gallinari refers to the lessons he has learned from sport that have translated to helping him get through difficulties in life.

"“In the game, I play for a living, basketball, the best teams are the ones that never give up in the face of great adversity. They are made up of individuals who have each others’ backs till the end and who fight through even the toughest of situations…And honestly, knowing our country’s history, and knowing the compassion and love and determination of the people of Italy, I can say without any hesitation that we are a truly great team.We will come out on top."

When sport could be the furthest thing from our minds at the moment, it can also be something we can still come back to for comfort.

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Yes, there is no live sports to watch or Thunder basketball to get excited about, but there is Danilo Gallinari providing us with inspiration and knowledge as we all go through it together.