Learn more about the 10 nominees for the Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente. Fans can vote from now until 11:59 pm ET on Friday, May 5 using #NBACommunityAssist and #PlayerName on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The winner will be announced at the NBA Awards, which will be televised live by TNT on Monday, June 26 in New York. The NBA and Kaiser Permanente will donate $25,000 to the winner’s charity of choice.
Charity of Choice: Youth Guidance
Website Summary: Jimmy has shown an incredible commitment to getting to know youth in Chicago and engaging teens in conversation circles about trust, integrity and issues facing the city. By participating in one of Youth Guidance’s Becoming a Man™ (BAM) conversation circles, Jimmy worked with Youth Guidance and the Chicago Police Department to use basketball to open channels of communication between two key groups or people in working to bring peace to Chicago. Additionally, Jimmy has dedicated time to serving food to those in need and surprising local youth with presents during the holiday season.
Charity of Choice: Carroll Family Foundation
Webpage Copy: This past season, DeMarre has dedicated his time to making a positive impact in the Toronto community. In addition to hosting holiday parties for youth at a non profit that offers youth mentorship programs, DeMarre prepped and served food at a local shelter and donated much needed items to a animal shelter, where he also spent time with both the employees and animals.
Charity of Choice: Memphis Grizzlies Foundation
Website Copy: Mike Conley tipped off the season by participating in a court dedication and basketball clinic, engaging local Boys and Girls Club youth and Memphis Police Department officers, who participated in community conversations and basketball activities . Following this event and as part of his Shoe Up campaign, Mike surprised all 200 youth from the court refurbishment with brand news shoes at their holiday party. In addition, Mike has participated in a Habitat for Humanity build, supported youth with scholarships, encouraged fans to exercise their right to vote in the presidential election and is a St. Jude Ambassador.
Charity of Choice: City Year Detroit
Tobias’ passion for youth mentorship has led him to answer the call and serve as a mentor to a group of local high school students through the Tobias Harris School of Business Mentoring Program. His program pairs local at-risk high school students with mentors with sports, business and education backgrounds to identify career goals and map out strategies to reach them. In addition, Tobias has worked with Seeds of Peace helping to cultivate new generations of global leaders, serving Thanksgiving dinner to those in need and engaging in community conversations with local youth and police to discuss community issues.
Charity of Choice: Preemptive Love Coalition
Website Summary: This past season, Jrue participated in the Lean In Campaign to share his story about being a 50/50 partner to your spouse; specifically speaking to how he took time off from basketball to support his pregnant wife who was suffering from a brain tumor. Additionally, to support the Greater New Orleans Foundation, Jrue pledged $1,000 per point at the game on March 3 to aide those that were most severely impacted by the tornadoes.
Charity of Choice: Boys and Girls Clubs of Portland Metro
CJ McCollum harnesses his energy off-the-court to work with low-income youth in Portland. To that end, CJ opened the first CJ McCollum Dream Center at the Blazers Boys & Girls Club to encourage learning, exploration, creativity and growth. The CJ McCollum Dream Center offers state of the art technology, infrastructure improvements, new furniture, books and a variety of holistic activities such as speaker series, coding & literacy clubs, diversity, mindfulness and meditation programming. Additionally, CJ partnering with Portland Public Schools to create and operate a journalism-based mentorship program – which trains, recognizes, and rewards exceptional high school journalists from low income schools in Portland.
Charity of Choice: Elfrid Payton Foundation
This season, Elfrid launched an after school program this season to expose local fifth graders to spoken word, musicianship, dance, and painting at Dover Shores Community Center, hosting a special showcase to allow students to present their favorite arts discipline. Additionally, Elfrid has hosted youth at a cultural fieldtrip African American history, volunteered his time with local youth at the Jr. NBA Youth basketball clinic and rewarded honor roll students from the Gretna, LA with a trip to the NBA All Star Practice. He also recently spread cheer and hope by making surprise visits to young people at the Joe R. Lee Boys & Girls Club and the Florida Hospital for Children.
Charity of Choice: Memphis Grizzlies Foundation
Zach Randolph continues to demonstrate his sustained investment in Memphis by leading several of his recurring signature initiatives. During Season of Giving, Zach put on the 5th Annual Zach and Tony Shopping Spree, 5th Annual Zach Randolph Memphis Police Department Coat Giveaway, and hand delivering 400 meals at the Zach Randolph Holiday Food Basket Giveaway. Zach also hosted the 3rd Annual Zach Randolph Celebration of Excellence and gave his annual $20,000 gift to Metropolitan Inter-Faith Assn (MIFA) to cover utility payments for over 200 families to avoid their electricity from being disrupted during the winter months.
Charity of Choice: Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound
In addition to organizing his annual backpack giveaway for 4,000 kids and a holiday party at his home hometown Boys & Girls Club, Isaiah spearheaded a renovation to the club’s gymnasium. Isaiah also launched his signature I.T.HELPDESK Initiative, working in partnership with MENTOR and Mass Mentoring Network to remove obstacles impeding deserving middle and high school students from achieving success. Lastly, Isaiah also made time to spend time and host a holiday party for over 200 people in Cambridge, MA who had been recently devastated by a 10-alarm fire.
Charity of Choice: Wade’s World Foundation
Website Summary: Dwyane’s “Spotlight On” initiative helps tell the positive stories of Chicago students who are making a difference in their communities and shine a spotlight on these young people while engaging the youth in panels, conversations and highlighting their efforts in arena. Additionally, Dwyane has worked with Harvard Business School and the City of Chicago on “Pitch Black,” bringing together students to address issues facing the community.