NBA: Miami Heat to give $1 million to Yolanda relief efforts

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 09: Owner Micky Arison and head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat celebrate after the Heat defeat the Boston Celtics 101-88 and adcance to the NBA Finals in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on June 9, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Billionaire Micky Arison owns the Miami Heat and also serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company, but he still knows how to extend a big helping hand.

Through the Heat team and the Carnival Corporation, the 64-year-old Arison vowed Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time) to donate at least $1 million in support of relief, recovery and restoration efforts in hard-hit areas of the Visayas following the devastation made by Super Typhoon “Yolanda” (known internationally as “Haiyan”) last week.

"All of us at Carnival and the Miami Heat extend our deepest sympathy to the Philippines and its people," Arison was quoted as saying by Charlie McCarthy of foxsportsflorida.com. "The typhoon in the Philippines has caused massive destruction, and is having a tragic impact on people and families, including those members of our extended Carnival family who reside in the region.

“We are in the process of evaluating a variety of worthy organizations that are doing fantastic work in the Philippines. In addition to providing financial support for relief efforts, our collective thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have been impacted,” added Arison, who has an estimated net worth of $5.9 billion as of September, 2013, according to forbes.com.

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Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, whose mother hails from Laguna, was quick to express his appreciation to Arison, the NBA franchise and the Carnival Corp.

"It is vitally important that we do everything possible to help those impacted by this tragedy. My thanks and appreciation to Carnival, Micky Arison and the entire Miami Heat organization. We value the many fans that we have over there, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers,” said Spoelstra, who is bidding to lead the Heat to a “three-peat” this season.

Spoelstra also extended “our condolences to the victims in the Philippines, an area I hold close to my heart and have visited four times in the last five years,” according to the report.

The donation comes on the heels of the NBA and its Players Association donating $250,000 each to the US Fund for the UNICEF and World Vision, with both organizations working hand in hand in the ongoing relief efforts.