NEW YORK – Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum has received the February NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente in recognition of his continued efforts to mentor and provide educational resources to youth in Portland, 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 McCollum for working to create opportunities for underserved youth through education. In February, McCollum continued his annual tradition of mentoring high school students through CJ’s Press Pass, his journalism-based mentorship program that serves students from the Portland Public Schools System, Beaverton Public Schools System and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro. He hosted 17 students for “Journalism Night at the Blazers Game,” where they participated in a question-and-answer session with media members, toured media workspaces in the Moda Center and ESPN’s production truck, and joined the postgame press conference featuring McCollum and other Trail Blazers players and coaches. All students produced a piece about their game-night experience, and the winner joined McCollum as a co-host on his “Playlist” radio show on JAM’N 107.5.
McCollum has also created innovative spaces to help students learn and think creatively, like the CJ McCollum Dream Center that he designed and funded for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro. In addition to hosting summer basketball camps and holiday parties in the center, McCollum works closely with local organizations like Girls, Inc., Start Making a Reader Today (SMART) and the Urban League of Portland to help underserved youth and families attend home games throughout the season.
“Over the course of my life, there have been so many people who have invested in me and provided me with opportunities to grow,” said McCollum. “It is an awesome responsibility for me to be able to provide young people with the resources they need to succeed, and I look forward to continuing to make an impact in the Portland community for years to come.”
Before the Trail Blazers’ home game against the LA Clippers tomorrow, the NBA will present the award to McCollum during an oncourt ceremony. In addition, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will donate $10,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro.
The NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente 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.