ORLANDO, Fla. — Kylia Carter knows the question is coming. The smile on her face is a giveaway. She’s been waiting to give her answer after her son’s latest giveback to Orlando.

What You Need To Know

  • The Magic's Wendell Carter Jr. wants to help boost the community as well as the team

  • The center's foundation works to empower youth and families through education

  • Carter recently held a fundraiser for the organization, A Platform^2 Foundation 

  • The Magic recently recognized him with the Rich & Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award

“Of course, that makes me a proud mama,” she says with a big laugh. “It’s just exciting to know that he’s a good guy, a great guy. That’s what we wanted all along.”

What she and her husband got for a son was a 6-foot-10 NBA center with a drive to perfect his game and his community. In late March 2021, Wendell Carter Jr. arrived in Orlando via a trade.

“Once I got traded, signed my deal and understood that, I wasn’t satisfied, but I was more so content,” Carter Jr. says. “I can more relax a little bit and put more time and effort into my foundation, and I told her (Kylia) I didn’t want to start my foundation if I couldn’t be a part of it.”

Like his game, he’s gone maximum effort. A charity event at TopGolf Orlando is his latest fundraiser for his A Platform^2 Foundation. The organization's mission is to empower youth and families through educational efforts, with focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), financial literacy, African American history, social injustice and equality awareness.

“STEM, aviation, engineering, those are areas where minorities are not found most often,” Kylia Carter says. “With us being able to connect with that so well, I think it’s just a win-win.”

The event was not a one-off. Over the past few seasons, Carter Jr. and his family have hosted numerous community service efforts in the Orlando area, including mentorship meetings with local high school students and holiday food giveaways.

“This is something that always makes me happy,” he says. “Of course, I’m an NBA player and I want to go out there and play basketball, but this is what gives me a smile. Knowing that I may be able to help a kid or two or three or four makes me feel good.”

Using his platform to better others is a goal and a promise kept. As he grew up in metropolitan Atlanta, Carter Jr.’s parents instilled in him the value of helping others.

“Always keeping her happy is always a good thing for me,” Carter Jr. says about his mom.

He smiles when he sees his efforts make a difference. You could spot that same grin when he received the 2023 Rich & Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award.

“It just means a lot. I’m just getting my feet wet in the philanthropic world,” Carter Jr. says after the ceremony. “I’m just excited that I’m already getting recognized for it, and this is just the beginning for me.”

Now the smile on Kylia Carter’s face is even more understandable. Seeing her son hold up his end of the bargain is everything she wanted.