NEW YORK – New Orleans Pelicans forward DeMarcus Cousins has received the inaugural Offseason NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente in recognition of his numerous community efforts in Alabama, New Orleans, Sacramento and South Africa, the NBA announced today. The first offseason honor since the program’s inception in 2001, the award recognizes an NBA player for his exceptional work and its impact from the end of the regular season to the start of the following season.
Kaiser Permanente and the NBA are honoring Cousins for his work to help those most in need in the communities that have impacted his life and NBA career, while inspiring fellow NBA players to join his efforts.
In his hometown of Mobile, Ala., Cousins donated funds to build an outdoor basketball facility at Figures Park. He also hosted basketball camps for more than 300 youth in Sacramento and Birmingham, Ala. Cousins worked with VSP Global to provide free eye exams for all attendees in Sacramento, and he donated backpacks and school supplies in Birmingham. In addition, Cousins held free block parties in Mobile and Sacramento with the help of teammates Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo, Washington Wizards guard John Wall, Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe and NBA Legend Shaquille O’Neal, providing a variety of food, music and games for local kids and their families.
This past summer, Cousins participated in NBA Africa Game 2017 and Basketball without Borders (BWB), where he visited orphaned youth at SOS Children’s Village and helped host a Jr. NBA Special Olympics Unified® Basketball Clinic for local athletes.
“Giving back to those in need is something that has always been a big part of my life,” said Cousins. “The NBA has given me a unique platform that helps me connect with the people I really care about in the community. I am so thankful for this recognition and extremely blessed to have the opportunity to touch people’s lives.”
Before the Pelicans’ home game against the Golden State Warriors tonight (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier will present the award to Cousins during an oncourt ceremony. In addition, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will donate $10,000 on Cousins’ behalf to Houston Mayor’s Relief Fund through Dynamo Charities.
The NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente recognizes an NBA player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and its players share for giving back to their communities. It honors the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson, who improved the community piece by piece. To learn more, please visit http://www.nba.com/communityassist/.