LEXINGTON, Ky. – Former Kentucky men’s basketball player John Wall was named the recipient of the NBA Cares Community Assist Award on Wednesday. He is the fifth-ever winner of the season-long award, which is accompanied by a $25,000 donation from Kaiser Permanente and the NBA to a charity of the recipient’s choice.
Wall (2010) will donate his winnings to the John Wall Foundation and the money will be donated for a new playground sponsored by the Bright Beginnings, Inc., in Washington, D.C. The Raleigh, N.C., native will also match the donation with his own money to a charity in his hometown which he will designate at a later date.
“I am honored and humbled to be selected as the 2016 Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award winner and would like to thank all the fans and my many friends who voted for me on social media,” Wall said in a statement. “I am privileged to be in a position to better my communities in both Washington and Raleigh and I consider the outreach that I do to be the most rewarding part of being an NBA player.”
The John Wall Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged families and at-risk youth. He created the “Passport to Manhood” mentor program in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Club. Additionally, Wall hosts the annual “#2SQUAD” which helps with back-to-school supplies.
Each month during the NBA regular season the NBA Cares Community Assist Award is awarded to an NBA player in recognition of his outstanding commitment and dedication to making a difference in his community. From the monthly winners, 10 players are considered finalists for the season-long award. Wall was joined by another former Wildcat in Anthony Davis as one of the 10 finalists.
Wall was recognized for his continuing efforts in the community with the season’s first monthly honor in October. Wall’s most notable efforts center on his 5-year-old friend DaMiyah Telemaque-Nelson, who tragically passed away weeks before her 6th birthday.
Wall donated to research for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He sponsored the Miyah’s Troupe: a team for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk in Washington. He missed a Wizards’ preseason game to attend the event.
He’s also donated backpacks filled with school supplies to 600 students in Washington, D.C., and his hometown of Raleigh, N.C. Furthermore, he donated $400,000 to a non-profit organization providing shelter, education and meals to homeless children and their families called D.C.’s Bright Beginnings.
Wall joins Pau Gasol (2012), Dwayne Wade (2013), Stephen Curry (2014) and Russell Westbrook (2015) as winners of the award which was created in former NBA Champion and All-Star, David Robinson’s honor. The plaque given to the winner is inscribed with the following: Following the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson, who improved the community piece by piece.
The other players nominated for the season-long honor included Carmelo Anthony, Mike Conley, Davis, Andre Drummond, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Zach LaVine, Damian Lillard and Victor Oladipo.