Barkley is one of five celebrities this week to appear on the show’s “Celebrity Charity Week.”
Barkley’s episode aired Thursday. He watched while contestants played games such as Plinko and the Range Game to win prizes.
When contestants won $11,000 trips to Tahiti or a new car, Barkley won the value of the prizes for Mustard Seed.
Halfway through the hourlong show, host Drew Carey announced that the school had already won $32,398. Barkley said, “I need a little more.”
He was to get quite a bit more when the next contestant won, bringing the total to $41,996.
Then a contestant won a car, and Mustard Seed cashed in, bringing the total to about $59,000. After that, Barkley himself hit big money when the former All-Star known as “Sir Charles” spun a big wheel and won $8,000.
Barkley, now a basketball TV analyst, smiled, clapped and hugged the other contestants.
“Charles Barkley won $67,633 for Mustard Seed School in Sacramento, California,” Carey said. “Enjoy the money. Spend it wisely.”
Mustard Seed School was established in 1989 to educate homeless children.
The school’s director, Angela Hassell, said the school had about 35 children enrolled as of Thursday.
“Our students stay for an average of three to four weeks,” Hassell said. “We are designed to be an emergency school for families while they are homeless. Once families get housing stability, we help them re-enroll into public school.”
The school had no idea it would be a big winner until the taped episode aired Thursday morning. The students cheered when money was won and booed when things didn’t go their way.
“We are thrilled,” said director Hassell after the broadcast.
The school will use the money for regular operating expenses, to pay teachers and to keep the lights on.
Hassell said a Mustard Seed volunteer’s daughter works on Barkley’s public relations team. Barkley wanted to do something for a children’s charity and ended up choosing Mustard Seed.
Barkley retired from NBA in 2000, he retired as the fourth player in NBA history to achieve 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists.
11-time All-Star, he was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2006. He competed in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic games and won two gold medals as a member of the United States men’s basketball team.
Barkley was a prolific scorer and a great rebounder, who holds career averages of 22.1 ppg and 11.7 rpg in 36.7 minutes on the court.
Barkley led the league in offensive rebounds for 3 consecutive seasons, and holds a personal record of 14.6 rebounds per game achieved in 1986-1987 season.
Scoring wise, Barkley never in his career averaged below 14 points per game, reaching a career-high 28.3 ppg for Philadelphia during 87-88 season.
He played in 1073 NBA games, starting in 1012 of them.
Barkley was one of the NBA’s most versatile players and accurate scorers capable of scoring from anywhere on the court and established himself as one of the NBA’s top power forwards of all time. Some say he was the best.
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