NEW YORK – Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio has received the November NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente in recognition of his many efforts to raise awareness and support research for lung cancer, 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 Rubio for his work to generate awareness, funds and support for lung cancer research, a disease he lost his mother to in 2016. In support of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Rubio visited the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, spending quality time with patients undergoing chemotherapy, and meeting with surgeons and researchers to learn about the latest lung cancer treatments and ways he could help the cause. Rubio also hosted “Ricky Rubio Lung Cancer Awareness Night” during the Jazz’s Nov. 25 game against the Milwaukee Bucks, donating 500 tickets to both the institute and Special Olympics.
Rubio is an ambassador to 5 for the Fight Foundation, an organization that raises funds to accelerate cancer research. He represented the group during “Game Night with the Utah Jazz,” the team’s annual fundraiser, which generated $550,000 for charitable causes. Rubio has personally donated to the foundation, and has asked fans to help raise an additional $150,000 by donating money for every assist he makes during the 2017-18 season. Additionally. Rubio was honored by A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation in Minnesota last month, where he created the Tona Vives Lung Cancer Awareness Fund in honor of his late mother. To date the fund has raised $60,000 for the foundation’s Lung Cancer Fellowship research program.
“My mother was a fighter, and it’s in her memory that I fight every day to raise awareness for lung cancer research, and give hope to those battling this terrible disease,” said Rubio. “I’m honored to partner with organizations who are doing this work and remain committed to fighting alongside them to find a cure.”
Before the Jazz’s home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 30, NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier will present the award to Rubio during an oncourt ceremony. In addition, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will donate $10,000 on Rubio’s behalf to 5 for the Fight Foundation.
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/.
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, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 11.8 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 Permanente Medical Group 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.