NEW YORK – Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton has received the February NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente in recognition of his work to encourage youth in their development, fitness and wellness, 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 Payton for his continued efforts to enhance the lives of youth in Central Florida and his home state of Louisiana. Payton recently launched a 10-week after-school program at Dover Shores Community Center in Orlando that gives youth access to a variety of arts and cultural field trip opportunities as well as VIP experiences at Magic home games. The program treats local fifth-graders to spoken word, music, dance and art projects.
In celebrating Black History Month, Payton accompanied local youth on a trip to the Hannibal Heritage Square Center in Winter Park, Fla., where the group learned about local African-American history and the importance of diversity. Payton has also been actively involved in the team’s Share the Magic Ticket Program, sponsoring 1,200 tickets for local youth this season.
During NBA All-Star 2017, Payton’s foundation, The Elfrid Payton Foundation, hosted excelling students from Louisiana’s Gretna Boys & Girls Club at NBA All-Star Practice, rewarding them for their hard work in the classroom. Payton also joined a Jr. NBA basketball clinic, where he instructed local youth and shared the importance of fitness and wellness in their daily lives.
“It’s always a great feeling to give back to the children of Central Florida and back home in Louisiana,” said Payton. “Exposure to things like art and music, along with basketball, was a big part of my development growing up, so I hope to give other children those same opportunities.”
Before tonight’s home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Payton 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 Payton’s behalf to The Elfrid Payton Foundation.
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.