The NBA is proud to announce the 10 nominees for the 2018-19 Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente. Each of these players has shown an incredible commitment to their community and making a positive impact off the court. Read more about their efforts below!
Jarrett Allen, Brooklyn Nets | Community Highlights
Beneficiary: Children of Promise
Jarrett Allen has a strong focus on empowering youth through STEM, building self-confidence, and discovering personal passions. This season, Jarrett helped launch the Brooklyn NETSTEM program – using basketball to teach kids the principles of probability at Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School. Since the program’s launch, the program has expanded to 15 NYC schools and helps teach the kids probability through the game of basketball. Jarrett also hosted area youth to the Nets practice facility to learn about coding, engage in STEM programming, and participate in an exclusive shoot around.
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards | Community Highlights
Beneficiary: Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation
Bradley Beal is passionate about mentoring the next generation of men to be the positive example he feels he never had growing up. As such, Bradley adopted Ron Brown High School, a local all-male public high school in Washington D.C for the school year, and commits to at least two school visits each month. Most notably, Bradley shadowed the principal for a day, participating in activities with his mentees, and gifted students with game tickets, basketball uniforms, toiletries and food for school’s pantry. Bradley later hosted the students to a private, advanced screening of CREED II, and led his mentees on a guided tour the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies | Community Highlights
Beneficiary: Memphis Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School
As an active Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School board member, Mike Conley consistently donates to the Grizzlies Foundation and hosts several events and fundraisers each season. In December, Mike donated $200,000 to the Grizzlies Foundation to support Grizzlies Prep. Mike also raised over $100,000 towards sickle cell research at his 10th Annual Bowl-N-Back event and silent auction. Mike formally announced a $500,000 donation to the Methodist Hospital Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, and the hospital renamed the center The Mike and Mary Conley Center for Comprehensive Sickle Cell Care. Mike also supports counseling and therapy sessions for young people that experienced traumatic experiences.
Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers | Community Highlights
Beneficiary: Team Up Philly & National Educational
Tobias Harris is known for his passion for mentorship. This season, Tobias hosted more than 40 girls from Team Up Philly for a “Game Changers: Women in Sports, Tech & Literacy” panel discussion to empower girls living in underserved Philadelphia neighborhoods to lead healthy, confident and successful lives. Tobias also partnered with the National Education Association to challenge girls to celebrate Read Across America’s annual reading motivation program. Tobias spearheaded the construction of a school in Haiti and gifted the students with new shoes and soccer equipment. In December, Tobias hosted 30 young men from Tobias’ Troops Mentoring Program for a movie screening and holiday event.
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers | Community Highlights
Beneficiary: LeBron James Family Foundation
LeBron James and his family foundation welcomed its inaugural class of nearly 240 3rd and 4th grade students at the I PROMISE SCHOOL (IPS). LeBron also works to eliminate the barriers IPS parents may face by offering GED classes, job placement services, legal support, medical care, financial education, mental health services, free haircuts, and a fully-stocked food pantry for all IPS families. LeBron completed the first phase of constructing the I PROMISE Institute on the University of Akron campus, and sent 65 I PROMISE Network students to a three-week ACT prep camp at Kent State University, and committed $100,000 to St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers | Community Highlights
Beneficiary: The Respect Programs at Roosevelt, Park Rose And Madison High Schools
Damian Lillard is an advocate for driving generational change for high-need, Portland high school students. Seven years after Damian launched the RESPECT program at Parkrose and Roosevelt High Schools, Roosevelt reported their highest graduation rate in 10 years, reduced fighting and increased overall attendance, while Parkrose HS had 5,000 fewer unexcused absences, reduced tardiness and increased participation in extracurricular activities. This season, Damian adopted a third school, Madison HS, to engage in a series of school assemblies and intimate class discussions to inspire students and administrators to show up, work hard, and be kind every day.
Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks | Community Highlights
Beneficiary: The Middleton Family Foundation
Khris Middleton’s passion for mentorship and education is demonstrated through his long standing relationship with Big Brothers Big Sisters in Milwaukee and Charleston, SC, and pledged $1 million to his high school in Charleston, SC. Most notably, Khris launched his first annual “12 Days of Khrismas” in December where he engaged over 1,000 educators, foster families, single mothers, and small businesses in Milwaukee and Charlotte. He also purchased Bucks tickets, food and transportation for 240 students from Milwaukee Public School’s Black and Latino Male Achievement and hosted basketball skills clinics for Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor-mentees pairs.
Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz | Community Highlights
Beneficiary: SpidaCares Foundation
Donovan Mitchell is a pillar in the Salt Lake City community. Throughout the season, he led school visits, basketball camps, and performed random acts of kindness. In August, the Mitchell family surprised students at Kearns High School to hand-deliver 300 backpacks to exemplary students in need and spoke on the possibilities that education creates. Donovan also attended the Boys & Girls Clubs’ “Strikes for Kids” bowling fundraiser and gifted 100 students with backpacks and school supplies. Donovan joined teammate Ekpe Udoh to lead a live-streamed forum at West High School for a discussion with 75 students on life, school and basketball. Following an incident with fans and players, Donovan designed a “solidarity” themed warm-up shirt which Jazz and Nets players wore. Finally, Donovan, SpidaCares Foundation and Adidas surprised the daughter of his 4th grade teacher with a $25,000 scholarship and shopping spree.
Dwight Powell, Dallas Mavericks | Community Highlights
Beneficiary: Champions of Discovery
After losing his mother to breast cancer in 2012, Dwight Powell prioritizes easing the burden of families dealing with cancer so parents don’t have to choose between paying for treatment and taking care of their family members. As such, Dwight hosted 120 survivors at “A Night of Hope” fundraiser where they announced a $610,000 gift to UT Southwestern Cancer. In partnership with UT Southwestern Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dwight collaborated with hospital staff to create the Dwight Powell Children and Family Support Fund – which provides guidance, education, and resources for patients and families coping with cancer. Lastly, Dwight launched the Venture-Entrepreneurial Expedition program designed to teach students to think about business and life through an entrepreneurial lens.
Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors | Community Highlights
Beneficiary: Right to Play
Pascal strives to leave a lasting legacy both in Toronto and his native Africa. As an ambassador for Right To Play, Pascal advocates for training 750 youth leaders to run programming in 50 local schools and community centers – impacting over 65,000 lives in Africa. As such, Pascal was recognized as the Athlete Honoree for the 2019 Right To Play Heroes Gala. In October, Pascal returned to South Africa to lead clinics at Basketball Without Borders Africa for the first time since being a program participant in 2012, and currently serves as the official representative of Sun Life’s Dunk for Diabetes program where he leverages his ability to speak French to encourage youth to stay active.