By Alex Hooper | 92.3 The Fan

INDEPENDENCE (92.3 the Fan) – Isaiah Thomas will surely be endearing himself to Cavaliers fans in the coming months, but he made a new group of young fans on Wednesday.

Thomas, along with longtime non-profit partner World Vision, hosted his fifth ‘Isaiah Claus’ holiday party, hosting 50 children from the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland. The All-NBA point guard handed out gifts, while Boys and Girls Club members participated in games led by Cavs Academy Coaches, giant board games, and NBA 2K.

“I just like giving back no matter where I am,” he said. “That’s just who I am, that’s what I’ve always been about. So I just try to reach kids, and be able to touch kids and show kids that I’m just like them. I come from a similar background and like I said, especially the Holiday season, it’s just about making others happy, putting smiles on other people’s faces, and I try to do that wherever I’m at.”

It is not a normal holiday season for Thomas, who lost his sister Chyna last April, just as his Boston Celtics were set to play the Chicago Bulls in a playoff series.

Thomas put the situation in perspective, finding a release in being able to help others in a trying season.

“Man it’s tough. My little sister ain’t here,” he said with tears in his eyes. “It’s tough for me, but as I keep saying, it’s about putting smiles on other peoples’ faces. They might be going through way worse stuff than I’ve ever even imagined, but they’re out here having fun, smiling and enjoying themselves. That’s what it’s about.”

It should not be long until Thomas is back on the floor, with reports Wednesday that he will play Canton Charge players in a 5-on-5, and more indicating he is eyeing a return in early January.

Though he said nothing definitive, Thomas only put a two-week timetable on a potential return.

“It might be next week, it might be the week after that,” he said. “I’m just trying to be as 100 percent as possible and to be out there to be special, not to be out there and be another body.”

World Vision, who has worked with the point guard on all five of his ‘Isaiah Claus’ parties, is a non-profit humanitarian organization that seeks to sponsor children in poverty and provide emergency relief.


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