Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas receives December NBA Cares Community Assist Award

NEW YORK – Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas has received the December NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente in recognition of his continued dedication to improving the lives of youth across the country through community outreach and mentorship, 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 Thomas for his numerous efforts to give back to youth living in cities he calls home.  To celebrate NBA Cares Season of Giving in December, Thomas hosted a holiday party for 70 children of Boston military servicemen and women, sponsored a holiday toy giveaway for 75 youth of military families throughout Tacoma, Washington, and spread holiday cheer when visiting more than 100 pediatric patients alongside his teammates at the Boston Children’s Hospital.

When his current neighborhood of Cambridge was recently devastated by a 10-alarm fire, Thomas immediately worked with the city to provide an evening of peace for more than 200 people affected by the tragedy.  Thomas also works year-round to campaign for world hunger relief and emergency aid, grant wishes in partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and provide much-needed school supplies to kids across local communities.

Thomas recently participated in a new PSA for MENTOR’s “In Real Life” campaign, part of the NBA family’s ongoing partnership with MENTOR in support of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative.  In addition to encouraging Americans to become mentors at www.mentoring.org, Thomas works with children of all ages through his I.T. Help Desk program, which helps local organizations connect Thomas with youth in need of mentorship.  He also hosts the Memorial Day Zeke-End Basketball tournament in Tacoma each summer, and works with the “Bridging the Gap” intervention program in Boston, mentoring first-time juvenile offenders by providing them volunteer opportunities and advice for overcoming obstacles.

“Since entering the league, giving back to the community has been a priority for me both in the cities I’ve played and in my hometown of Tacoma, Washington,” said Thomas.  “I look forward to continuing to help those facing challenges big and small so they can ultimately overcome adversity and achieve success.”

Before Saturday’s home game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Thomas will be presented 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 Thomas’s behalf to Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound.

To learn more, please visit http://www.nba.com/communityassist/.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care.  We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans.  Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve.  We currently serve more than 10.6 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia.  Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers.  Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management.  Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.