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Former Wildcat Kyle Fogg gives back

Former+Arizona+guard+Kyle+Fogg+%2821%29+drives+toward+the+hoop+in+McKale+Center+on+Feb.+9%2C+2012.+Fogg+currently+plays+for+Eisb%26%23228%3Bren+Bremerhaven+in+Germany.+
Colin Darland
Former Arizona guard Kyle Fogg (21) drives toward the hoop in McKale Center on Feb. 9, 2012. Fogg currently plays for Eisbären Bremerhaven in Germany.

Professional basketball paychecks could easily be used to buy vehicles, jewelry and designer clothes. It takes generosity and selflessness to utilize that money by donating to charities instead of spending on personal possessions.

Former Arizona Wildcats basketball player Kyle Fogg is one of those athletes who wants to deliver some of his earnings from the game to those aching for help.

Fogg is a name UA fans haven’t heard much since his departure from Tucson nearly four years ago. At a blue-blood program like Arizona, anyone who doesn’t immediately make it to the NBA can be somewhat forgotten.

Fogg’s dreams of immediately playing in the association ended when in 2012, the shooting guard signed with the Houston Rockets but was waived less than a month later.

This allowed him to grow as a role player in the NBA Development League for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, where he averaged less than seven points in just 18 minutes per game.

While Fogg won a D-League championship in his lone season with the Vipers in 2013, he would soon take his talents overseas to Finland, playing for the Lapuan Korikobat.

For the first time in his life, Fogg was forced to battle with more foreign players than the token Eastern European on Arizona’s team, Kyryl Natyazhko.

Fogg swiftly made his presence felt in Finland, averaging 26.11 points and just fewer than five assists per game as a point guard.

The 2013-2014 season would be the year of Fogg, as he was not only the scoring champion, but also earned the Finnish League MVP award.

“I felt comfortable playing in Finland because I already had experience obviously playing at Arizona and then in the Summer League, as well as D-League. So getting adjusted to overseas wasn’t that big of an issue,” Fogg said. “I enjoy playing in Europe and even though it’s not the NBA, I have a bigger impact over here because I am that big fish in a little pond as opposed to me riding the bench in the NBA.”

Returning to the NBA always lingered in the back of his mind after posting eyebrow-raising numbers overseas.

But taking on a star role in a professional basketball league, even if it’s overseas, is an opportunity Fogg will always value.

“My agent and I talked about getting back and playing in the NBA, but I like staying over here and making a difference for my team,” Fogg said. “Like, sure, I want to go back and play in front of my friends and family, but I got a good thing going on over here and I’d rather show out overseas than to sit on the bench in the NBA.”

It wasn’t just Fogg’s performance on the basketball court that was MVP worthy, but his contributions to those suffering in Africa.

Fogg is a part of a nonprofit organization called Pencils of Promise. The group has been around since 2009 and its goal is to build schools in developing nations.

Pencils of Promise has built 330 schools and Fogg is in the process of building a school in Africa.

“I want to help build a school in Ghana,” Fogg said. “I know I’m not going to make a huge difference, but with the support from other people including my friends and family, I’m glad we’re making a difference.”

Fogg is matching any donation to his Pencils of Promise page and has so far raised 29 donations of $2,685. However, he is still short of his ultimate goal of reaching $25,000.

His giving doesn’t stop at Pencils of Promise though.

In 2015, Fogg spent the summer in New York playing for the Overseas Elite squad that played in the million-dollar tournament known as “The Tournament.”

Fogg’s team went on to win the championship. An $87,000 paycheck came his way.

Fogg pulled the Rondae Hollis-Jefferson card and purchased a house for his mother in Chino Hills, California, so she could be closer to Fogg’s sister.

No, Fogg doesn’t have the money to provide athletic facilities to his alma mater like Richard Jefferson, but the former Wildcat is intent on being unselfish.

Right now, Fogg is still a professional basketball player, but he wants to be known for something much bigger than basketball.

“I love the game of basketball and have been passionate about it my entire life,” Fogg said, “but to me, I’ve been blessed with this talent to use the game to help others.”


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