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Tyrese Haliburton continues Pacers’ Thanksgiving tradition

Tyrese Haliburton hosts Thanksgiving dinner

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A tradition continued on Thursday inside Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

For the 26th year, Pacers Sports & Entertainment held the Come To Our House Thanksgiving Dinner, presented by US Foods and the Pacers Foundation.

This was the second year in a row that the dinner has been hosted by Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton.

Haliburton joined News 8 Sports’ Andrew Chernoff live on Thursday’s 5 p.m. newscast from the event to talk about why this event is so important to him.

“It’s just important for me to give back,” Haliburton said.

More than 750 Hoosiers attended this year’s event to get a warm, Thanksgiving meal.

“It just means the world to me to see the smiles on people’s faces,” Haliburton said. “To interact with people more than just a ‘hi’ on the basketball court.”

Haliburton had the support of his teammates and coaches at the event, like Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle, who spent time serving some of the food to attendees.

“He’s (Haliburton) a leader on and off the court,” said Carlisle in a news release. “He puts others before himself – that’s just the kind of person he is and giving back to the community is such an important part of the organization.”

Haliburton said he was appreciative of the support from his teammates and coaches.

“It means the world to me because they don’t have to be here,” Haliburton said. “It’s not a mandatory thing, a requirement, by any means. Guys are coming on their own free will to support me and support the community. Same with the coaching staff. It’s just a testament to how close we are as a group, and I think that plays a big part in it.”

News 8 Sports’ Andrew Chernoff also volunteered at the event, serving mashed potatoes to those in line getting food.

Attendees did not only have the chance to get a free meal, but they also had opportunities to take photos with Boomer and the Pacemates.