NEW YORK – Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has received the November NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente in recognition of his efforts to support the education of high school students 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 Lillard for his efforts to improve attendance and graduation rates across Portland through his RESPECT program. Lillard makes continuous visits to Madison, Parkrose and Roosevelt High Schools throughout the year – hosting holiday and end-of-year parties, participating in conversations with staff and donating tickets and merchandise – to encourage students to value their education, and to celebrate their achievements. As a result, Parkrose and Madison High Schools have seen great improvements in student behavior, engagement, tardiness and attendance, and Roosevelt High School achieved its highest graduation rate of the past decade.
Lillard began the RESPECT program six years ago, when he met with Portland high school administrators to identify schools that most needed a more positive culture among students. Through these conversations, he created a platform to encourage students to “Show Up: demonstrating respect for their parents and teachers; Work Hard: demonstrating respect for themselves and their futures; and Be Kind: demonstrating respect for others.”
“My goal with the RESPECT program is to provide support and have a positive impact with the students so they can go on to better themselves,” said Lillard. “I’m so proud to see that the program is succeeding in these high schools and that the students are excited to participate.”
Before the Trail Blazers’ home game against the Golden State Warriors tomorrow (10 p.m. ET, NBA TV), NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier will present the award to Lillard during an oncourt ceremony. In addition, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will donate $10,000 on Lillard’s behalf to Madison, Parkrose and Roosevelt High Schools in Portland.
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. At the end of the 2018-19 regular season, the Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award winner will be announced at the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia. 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 more than 12.2 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.
About NBA Cares
NBA Cares is the league’s global social responsibility program that builds on the NBA’s mission of addressing important social issues. NBA Cares programs and participants have provided more than 4.5 million hours of hands-on service and created more than 1,210 places where kids and families can live, learn or play in communities around the world. The NBA also engages more than 26 million youth annually, inspiring play and teaching the values of the game. NBA Cares works with internationally recognized youth-serving programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes, including: Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Special Olympics, YMCA of the USA, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, UNICEF, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Share Our Strength and GLSEN.