Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard receives Kia Community Assist Award for March

NEW YORK – Damian Lillard is the recipient of the “Kia Community Assist Award” for March in recognition of his outstanding efforts in the community, ongoing advocacy and charitable work, the NBA announced today.

Kia and the NBA are honoring the Trail Blazers rookie for his commitment to anti-bullying and his ongoing support of local, regional and national organizations that share his passion for promoting respect for all. He is the face of the  Trail Blazers’ “Respect, Pass It On.” campaign, which encourages people to take a stand against bullying and includes a series of 30-second television and radio public service announcements (PSAs) to raise awareness about the harmful effects of this behavior.

The first PSA features Lillard and children from Friends of the Children (FOTC), a Portland-based mentoring non-profit organization that promotes a message of respect for self and others.  Following the shoot, Lillard spent time with the children, spoke with the mentors to learn about the great work of FOTC and presented the organization with more than 150 tickets to a Trail Blazers game.  The Respect campaign also encourages people to make an anti-bullying pledge online at, resulting in pledges from more than 5,000 people from five countries internationally to date.

“It’s an honor to receive this award and I hope that it will bring even more attention to the Respect campaign,” said Lillard. “I’ve seen too many of the negative effects that bullying has on people, especially kids. Now that I’ve learned how many people look up to us as NBA players, I want to make the most of it by getting behind positive initiatives like anti-bullying.”

As part of the campaign, Lillard later hosted an assembly for more than 800 students at Parkrose Middle School. After the assembly, he recorded a second PSA for the campaign with assistance from 10 students who were selected for their daily practice of the Respect message by the principal and other school administrators. He then spent one-on-one time with the group, congratulating each of them for making good decisions and encouraging them to continue their efforts.

Prior to tonight’s home game against the Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier will be on hand to present Lillard with the “Kia Community Assist Award.” Lillard will receive the David Robinson Plaque with the inscription, “Following the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson who improved the community piece by piece.”  In addition, Kia and the NBA will donate $10,000 on Lillard’s behalf to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, split evenly between the Portland and Oakland affiliates.

Kia Motors has been an NBA Cares partner since 2010.  The league presents the “Kia Community Assist Award” monthly throughout the season as well as a final award at the end of the season to recognize players for their year-round charitable efforts. The award honors the NBA player who best reflects the passion that the league and its players have for giving back to their communities.

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