Several Orlando Magic Players Teamed Up With Pepsi To Take Boys & Girls Clubs Members On Holiday Shopping Spree


ORLANDO – If you’ve attended an Orlando Magic game this season at Amway Center, you know all about the vibes inside. The energy and enthusiasm permeating through the building is a big reason why the Magic have won 11 of their first 12 games there.

That buzz is oozing out into the community as well. The Magic are the talk of the town right now, and the players sense it all around them, including at their off-the-court philanthropic events aimed at lifting the spirits of others this holiday season.

One such example took place in the early evening of Wednesday, Dec. 13 at the Walmart Supercenter on Princeton Street. There, Franz Wagner, Moe Wagner, Anthony Black and Kevon Harris teamed up with Pepsi for a holiday shopping spree for 100 Boys & Girls Clubs members. Each child received a $100 Walmart gift card courtesy of Pepsi, and then the participating Magic players; PepsiCo President, South Division Heather Hoytink; along with other volunteers, including Magic Vice President of Shareholder Engagement Ryan DeVos, his wife Michelle; Community Ambassadors Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw and many other Magic and Pepsi staff members, took them shopping.

“We are super happy that we can be a part of this,” Franz said. “Shout out to Pepsi and the Boys & Girls Clubs for putting this event on and it’s an honor to be here.”

This being his third year with the team, Franz can certainly tell the difference between this year and his first two as far as the excitement and backing from the fans. Everywhere he goes, he feels the love and support, which is extremely motivating for him and his teammates.

“When Moe and I are walking the streets, a lot more people are coming up to us, and I’m sure the other guys are feeling the same way,” he said. “We want to give back to the community that is supporting us all throughout the year.”

Even though he’s only been in Orlando for a few months now after getting selected sixth overall by the Magic in the 2023 NBA Draft, Black feels right at home in his new digs. One reason for that is the community support, which he’s extremely appreciative of and why he feels it’s so important to give back.

This is already the second major community event he’s been a part of since joining the team. On Thanksgiving morning, he and his family helped serve breakfast at the Coalition for the Homeless. It was the 31st year the Magic held that event.

“The community is very supportive of us,” he said. “I think it might be because of what we do to help the community also. But it’s a good community, a nice community, and good weather. It’s definitely a good place to be.”

What makes the growth of both the team and the community that much sweeter for Moe is that he was one of the first players brought in after the rebuild started in the spring of 2021. He originally signed with the Magic in April of that season shortly after getting waived by the Boston Celtics, and is now thriving in a second-unit role for Orlando.

His efficiency near the basket, all the hustle plays he makes, and the energy and enthusiasm he brings every time he steps on the court have been essential. Most important, though, for Moe is doing whatever he can to help the Magic win, which is a characteristic shared by the entire team.

It’s that collective approach and mindset that fans may appreciate the most about this group.

“People are picking up on it a little bit,” he said. “They recognize it on the street a little more. People are more excited about basketball. It’s cool, especially because we’ve been organically growing this thing and it’s cool to be part of something.”

A touching part of Wednesday’s event is that many of the items the kids pick out during their shopping will be presents for family members.

“Being that it’s the 15th year (of this event), in previous years (we’ve seen) kids think about their family members – their moms, their grandmas, their siblings – and they put themselves last,” PepsiCo President, South Division Heather Hoytink said. “They are just so caring and generous with the money that we do give them. It’s so touching to see how they choose to spend the dollars they get.”