JaVale McGee’s #JUGLIFE Celebrity Softball Game Yields Great Fan Turnout

Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

JaVale McGee hosted the third annual #JUGLIFE Celebrity Softball Game at the Oakland Coliseum, attracting an immense crowd of Golden State Warriors fans.

OAKLAND, Calif. JaVale McGee is well-known for his silly on-court antics and off-court sense of humor, but what some Golden State Warriors fans may not know is McGee is also an active philanthropist.

As co-founder of the #JUGLIFE Water Foundation, McGee helps to promote a healthier lifestyle by encouraging everyone to drink more water, be more active, and exercise more. Additionally, JUGLIFE works to provide water to children overseas, building their first water well in Matugga, Uganda.

And last Saturday, McGee hosted his annual #JUGLIFE Celebrity Softball Game, which yielded a great many number of Warriors fans. McGee was pleased with the fan turnout, as well as the celebrity turnout, which included names like Amber Rose, Mistah Fab, Blake Anderson, and Miles Teller.

Several Bay Area athletes also played, including Warriors teammates Draymond Green, Matt Barnes, Ian Clark, Damian Jones, Andre Iguodala, and Kevin Durant (sporting a hat with an NBA title ring atop a cupcake).

When asked about who he was most excited to see and whether that person lived up to expectations, McGee said Mistah Fab was by far one of the more impressive players on the field.

"“I wasn’t really looking forward to seeing anybody personally,” McGee joked, “but the way Fabby (Mistah Fab) was hitting home runs was crazy. Like it was (effortless).”"

When posed with the same question, Draymond Green gave the most Draymond Green answer, saying that he was most excited to see teammate Matt Barnes play because of all the trash Barnes had been talking leading up to the day of the game.

"“Matt talked a lot of junk so I was excited to see how he would play. He was solid, but when it was crunch time, he couldn’t hit a home run, so he choked,” Green said, smiling."

And the fans certainly enjoyed the event, taking in the entire experience as they watched some of their favorite celebrities in different light. According to longtime Bay Area sports fan Jenn Moore, a ticket sales employee had said that over 2000 tickets were sold prior to the day, and even more were bought at the gate.

Moore, who attended the game with her fiancé and daughter, said that she was most excited to see her Warriors take a break from their basketball duties and just genuinely have fun playing softball.

"“To be honest, the game was exciting and a lot of fun. KD trying to change bases with Draymond was really funny, and the Ian Clark backflip was a perfect home run celebration,” said Moore.“I was most excited to see JaVale and the rookies, now Champions. You can tell even from something as small as a charity softball game that they have a deeper bond than just teammates on the Warriors. I know that they’re professional basketball players, but they lived up to expectations in terms of showing everyone that they’re just down-to-earth people having fun for a good cause.”"

Avid Bay Area sports fan Krystle Balintec was also in attendance on Saturday, and she said that while she was disappointed Klay Thompson wasn’t there, it was still fun to watch Draymond Green, who recorded a number of errors playing first base.

"“I was most excited to see Klay, but I found out he was in China! But it was still nice to see the other players and staff in a different element. Still a joyous and fun-loving group of people,” said Balintec. “My favorite part of the game would probably be Draymond at first base. It was entertaining to say the least, especially since I was so close to it!”"

It’s safe to say that every fan in attendance enjoyed the event immensely.

Considering McGee is expected to garner a great deal of interest on the free agent market, hopefully the 7-footer decides to stay with the Warriors and hold an even bigger softball event next summer.