Dorsey: Former Blazers F Brian Grant Inspires Incredible Local Artist

A Ft. Vancouver basketball coach can paint his butt off and he thanks former Portland Trail Blazers forward Brian Grant for the inspiration.

Patrick Dorsey of ESPN.com has an awesome multimedia post and interview with Justin Tigner, a Ft. Vancouver basketball coach, who says he was inspired in part by former Portland Trail Blazers forward Brian Grant and his charitable work.

My career really started with Brian Grant when he played for the Portland Trail Blazers [1997-2000]. His foundation at the time raised money for the Ronald McDonald Houses of Portland and southwest Washington. Brian Grant's people asked if I could do a couple of paintings for two auctions, and I agreed. Both made pretty good money and it was pretty cool, but after the event a person with The Ronald McDonald Houses came up to me and ... said the money raised would house a family for six months while their child was undergoing treatment at the hospital. ... That absolutely floored me.

After that I always searched out sports-related charities that could use my work to raise money for their causes. The following year I started donating paintings to the Mike Bellotti event for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. This year was my ninth with the MDA and as long as Coach Bellotti has the event, I will donate art.

I've also donated to the University of Oregon's Duck Athletic Fund and the Oregon Clubs, [Trail Blazers forward] Nicolas Batum's foundation, [former Trail Blazers guard] Patty Mills' Assist Australia, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and small fundraisers for local middle and high schools and various others throughout the years. As of three years ago I started donating to Grant's new foundation for Parkinson's research [Grant was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2009].

Click through to see Tigner's impressive work.

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