Robert Covington, Luol Deng Partner For Chicago Community Development Project

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Robert Covington was one of Houston's most impactful players in 2019-20 after joining the Rockets in a midseason trade, and the forward appears to have a busy offseason ahead.

Covington is partnering with the real estate fund 'Own Our Own' in a community investment project, per the National Basketball Players Association. Covington–along with former NBA players Luol Deng, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Matt Barnes–are working to launch, "an affordable housing and community development initiative that will improve quality of life through increased public safety and access to critical social services."

The development initiative will reportedly refurbish a 143-unit multifamily property in the West Pullman neighborhood of Chicago. Enhanced safety measures, community gardens and an outdoor playground will be added through the project, as well as work-spaces for local organizations, a new library, and a STEM facility.

“My roots are in Chicago and ensuring the West Pullman community has the greatest potential to improve long-term health, wellness, economic, and social outcomes is a personal mission,” Covington said in a statement. “This project promises to make a lasting impact on the neighborhood’s social infrastructure and help community members to achieve greater economic equity.”

Covington's involvement in Own Our Own's venture marks the latest act in his commitment to social justice. Covington helped clean up streets in Nashville after protests surrounding the death of George Floyd, and he's been vocal in the fight against racial injustice and police brutality during his time inside the bubble. With the Rockets now out of the playoffs, Covington has the offseason to both refine his game and continue his help in the community. 

The Tennessee State product averaged 11.6 points per game in 22 regular-season contests with Houston. He shot 50% from three in the 2020 playoffs, and he often served as the Rockets' preeminent rim protector. Daryl Morey's offseason addition should be a fixture with the franchise for years to come.