A Magic Endeavor

A Magic Endeavor

No one who truly appreciated Rich’s spirit of competition and adventure should have been surprised when he and his family made a decision in 1991 to buy the NBA Orlando Magic.

After all, this was the man who friends remembered cartwheeling across his high school basketball court and the boy his sister, Jan, recalled as finding creative ways to play sports around the house—from rigging a homemade basketball hoop to flooding a vacant lot for a skating rink. Rich overcame his initial failed sailing adventure to become a winning competitive sailor and for whom family vacations meant skiing, snorkeling and exploring in exotic locales.

But owning an NBA team for Rich went far beyond fulfilling his need to compete and win. The Orlando Magic was also an opportunity to tap his talents to inspire and mentor young athletes and serve his adopted community of Central Florida as he did his hometown of Grand Rapids.

Photo Gallery: A Magic Endeavor

A Family Affair

Dan DeVos, Rich, Rick DeVos, Helen, Dick DeVos and Doug DeVos at the announcement of the family's purchase of the Orlando Magic in 1991. At that time, Rich described the family as "caretakers" of the franchise – that the real owners of the team were the fans in the Orlando community.

A Magic Moment

Rich, Pat Williams and Dick DeVos in 1991 at the announcement that the DeVos family had purchased the team.

Photo Credit: Orlando Magic/NBA Photos

A Tall Order

Rich was a regular at Orlando Magic games. Here Rich chats before a game with Nick Anderson, who was the very first draft pick of the Orlando Magic when the franchise was founded in 1989.

A Regular in the Locker Room

Rich discussed the night's game with Rashard Lewis.

Celebrating Perseverance

Rich accepted the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Championship trophy on behalf of the team.

A Family Victory

The DeVos family celebrated the Orlando Magic's 2009 NBA Eastern Conference Championship.

A Magic Evening

Rich and Helen at an Orlando Magic Gala Event with Bo Outlaw.

A Break From Practice

Rich joined former Magic player Dwight Howard on the court during practice.

Courtside Counsel

Rich, here with two of his grandchildren, encouraged each and every Magic player to achieve his potential.

In the Spotlight

Rich doing a locker room interview about the Magic's prospects.

A Positive Presence

Rich presents a birthday gift to Shaquille O'Neal, a first-round draft pick for the Magic in 1992. Rich was a presence in the lives of players, often counseling them on managing their careers for the long-term.

Standing Tall

Rich courtside at a Magic game. A self-professed "cheerleader," Rich attended as many Magic games as possible to support the team and players.

On the Court

Rich was often seen courtside during Magic practices and games.

Biggest Fans

When the DeVos family purchased the Orlando Magic, they viewed the NBA franchise as a way to work and play together. Here Rich and several of his grandchildren enjoy a game against the Lakers.

The Magic players quickly discovered they had a unique owner in Rich. The sports media was giving the Magic little chance to win its first championship playoff when Rich entered the locker room and advised the team to tune out the negatives. He asked them, “Why not us? Why not now?” The phrase became their battle cry. The Magic did not win the NBA Finals, but Rich’s inspiration and insistence on quality performance surely helped the franchise, which has won five division championships, had seven 50-plus win seasons and captured the Eastern Conference title in 1995 and 2009.

Rich also saw the wisdom of mentoring the players, who, despite being highly paid elite athletes, were young men—some barely beyond their teens. He and his family also hosted players in their home to show how much he cared for them as individuals off the court. “I speak to the players often and attend all the games I can,” Rich once said. “I encourage them to be their best every day in every game.”

As owners of the Magic, the DeVos family takes seriously its role as civic leaders in Orlando and remains dedicated to the principle that the team really belongs to the community. The family continues their stewardship of this community asset because of what the team means to Orlando and in keeping with the Magic mission statement, which reads: “We enhance the quality of life in our communities by pioneering excellence in the management of sports and wellness through a commitment to family values.” Inspired by Rich’s example, the Magic seeks to unite players, fans and the community in “something bigger than ourselves.”

The family enhanced the quality of life in Orlando through the donation of millions of dollars to charities and education. The Orlando Magic's parent organization, RDV Sports, was named Outstanding Philanthropic Organization of the Year by the National Society of Fundraising Executives in 2008. The Richard and Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award encouraged Magic players to use their NBA celebrity status to enrich lives in the community.

Video: A Team Effort

Family, Players and Fans

Rich discussed the impact that the purchase of the Orlando Magic had on their family and their adopted community of players and fans in Orlando.

After all, this was the man who friends remembered cartwheeling across his high school basketball court and the boy his sister, Jan, recalled as finding creative ways to play sports around the house—from rigging a homemade basketball hoop to flooding a vacant lot for a skating rink. Rich overcame his initial failed sailing adventure to become a winning competitive sailor and for whom family vacations meant skiing, snorkeling and exploring in exotic locales.

But owning an NBA team for Rich went far beyond fulfilling his need to compete and win. The Orlando Magic was also an opportunity to tap his talents to inspire and mentor young athletes and serve his adopted community of Central Florida as he did his hometown of Grand Rapids.

Photo Gallery: A Magic Endeavor

A Family Affair

Dan DeVos, Rich, Rick DeVos, Helen, Dick DeVos and Doug DeVos at the announcement of the family's purchase of the Orlando Magic in 1991. At that time, Rich described the family as "caretakers" of the franchise – that the real owners of the team were the fans in the Orlando community.

A Magic Moment

Rich, Pat Williams and Dick DeVos in 1991 at the announcement that the DeVos family had purchased the team.

Photo Credit: Orlando Magic/NBA Photos

A Tall Order

Rich was a regular at Orlando Magic games. Here Rich chats before a game with Nick Anderson, who was the very first draft pick of the Orlando Magic when the franchise was founded in 1989.

A Regular in the Locker Room

Rich discussed the night's game with Rashard Lewis.

Celebrating Perseverance

Rich accepted the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Championship trophy on behalf of the team.

A Family Victory

The DeVos family celebrated the Orlando Magic's 2009 NBA Eastern Conference Championship.

A Magic Evening

Rich and Helen at an Orlando Magic Gala Event with Bo Outlaw.

A Break From Practice

Rich joined former Magic player Dwight Howard on the court during practice.

Courtside Counsel

Rich, here with two of his grandchildren, encouraged each and every Magic player to achieve his potential.

In the Spotlight

Rich doing a locker room interview about the Magic's prospects.

A Positive Presence

Rich presents a birthday gift to Shaquille O'Neal, a first-round draft pick for the Magic in 1992. Rich was a presence in the lives of players, often counseling them on managing their careers for the long-term.

Standing Tall

Rich courtside at a Magic game. A self-professed "cheerleader," Rich attended as many Magic games as possible to support the team and players.

On the Court

Rich was often seen courtside during Magic practices and games.

Biggest Fans

When the DeVos family purchased the Orlando Magic, they viewed the NBA franchise as a way to work and play together. Here Rich and several of his grandchildren enjoy a game against the Lakers.

The Magic players quickly discovered they had a unique owner in Rich. The sports media was giving the Magic little chance to win its first championship playoff when Rich entered the locker room and advised the team to tune out the negatives. He asked them, “Why not us? Why not now?” The phrase became their battle cry. The Magic did not win the NBA Finals, but Rich’s inspiration and insistence on quality performance surely helped the franchise, which has won five division championships, had seven 50-plus win seasons and captured the Eastern Conference title in 1995 and 2009.

Rich also saw the wisdom of mentoring the players, who, despite being highly paid elite athletes, were young men—some barely beyond their teens. He and his family also hosted players in their home to show how much he cared for them as individuals off the court. “I speak to the players often and attend all the games I can,” Rich once said. “I encourage them to be their best every day in every game.”

As owners of the Magic, the DeVos family takes seriously its role as civic leaders in Orlando and remains dedicated to the principle that the team really belongs to the community. The family continues their stewardship of this community asset because of what the team means to Orlando and in keeping with the Magic mission statement, which reads: “We enhance the quality of life in our communities by pioneering excellence in the management of sports and wellness through a commitment to family values.” Inspired by Rich’s example, the Magic seeks to unite players, fans and the community in “something bigger than ourselves.”

The family enhanced the quality of life in Orlando through the donation of millions of dollars to charities and education. The Orlando Magic's parent organization, RDV Sports, was named Outstanding Philanthropic Organization of the Year by the National Society of Fundraising Executives in 2008. The Richard and Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award encouraged Magic players to use their NBA celebrity status to enrich lives in the community.

Video: A Team Effort

Family, Players and Fans

Rich discussed the impact that the purchase of the Orlando Magic had on their family and their adopted community of players and fans in Orlando.

Services

Information on events to celebrate the life of Rich DeVos.

Tributes to Rich DeVos

People from all around the world have shared memories, stories and messages about the impact Rich DeVos had on them.

Rich DeVos believed that true wealth came from spirituality and family. Thank you for choosing to donate to one of the organizations Rich supported in his lifetime.