– NBA and Kaiser Permanente to donate $10,000 to the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation –
NEW YORK, Feb. 19, 2016 – Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley has received the January NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente in recognition of his work to empower youth through basketball and encourage healthy and active living in the Memphis community, the NBA announced today. The award recognizes an NBA player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and its players share for giving back to their communities.
Kaiser Permanente and the NBA are honoring Conley for his efforts to improve the health and wellness of local youth and raise awareness for sickle cell anemia. Serving as a member of the NBA FIT Team and ambassador for Jr. Grizzlies, Conley has hosted and participated in more than two dozen basketball skills clinics for young boys and girls this season.
Conley soon recognized that clinic participants often lacked the proper footwear to play and launched the Shoe Up! with Mike Conley campaign, a seasonlong initiative to provide shoes and basketball skills training to kids from underserved communities across Memphis. In January, Shoe Up! with Mike Conley partnered with Under Armour, Samaritan’s Feet and more than 100 community volunteers to give new sneakers to 200 children, prior to leading a basketball clinic at FedEx Forum.
“I’m grateful that the NBA has given me a platform to support the causes that are important to me,” said Conley. “It’s a blessing to be recognized, but the real blessing is to be able to inspire youth to love this game and recognize its possibilities in creating change in our communities.”
A longtime advocate for research and treatment of sickle cell anemia, Conley often dedicates his time to hosting events and raising awareness and funds for the disease, as two of his family members suffer from sickle cell. In addition to supporting advanced sickle cell treatment centers like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Conley recently worked to secure a $15,000 contribution from local donors to Methodist Hospital in support of sickle cell research.
Before Memphis’ home game tonight against the Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier, Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace and Kaiser Permanente Director, Community Benefit Madelyn R. Adams will present Conley with the award during an oncourt ceremony. The award honors the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson, who improved the community piece by piece. In addition, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will donate $10,000 on Conley’s behalf to the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation.