Basketball legend Ray Allen took to the road for the holidays. But this wasn’t your ordinary family Christmas visit.
Allen, who played with the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, joined the USO Holiday Tour to visit military personnel overseas, with stops including Afghanistan and Qatar.
But Allen didn’t just speak and mingle with the troops at military bases last week. He also experienced a few adventures of his own, like hanging from an airborne CH-47 Chinook helicopter over Afghanistan.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Allen was joined on the tour by actors Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson, Olympic Gold Medalist Maya DiRado, mentalist Jim Karol, and country music singer Craig Campbell.
"It's the least that we can do," Allen told USA Today.
Allen remains active in the Miami area, earlier this year opening an organic fast-food restaurant with his wife, Shannon.
Allen retired in November after an 18-year career in the NBA. He played his final game with the Heat in the 2014 NBA Finals.
He grew up around military bases as the son of an Air Force mechanic. The holiday tour showed appreciation to the military, he said.
“Any athlete, from the NBA to baseball to football ... join up with the USO and take a tour. It'll give you a greater perspective on war, it'll give you a greater perspective on the people that are fighting the war.”