Fan voting tips off for 2013 Seasonlong Kia Community Assist Award

NEW YORK – Fan voting for the 2013 Seasonlong Kia Community Assist Award tips off today and continues through May 17, the NBA announced today.  The award recognizes the NBA player who best reflects the passion that the league and its players have for giving back to their communities.  This marks the first time that fans will help to select the winner.

The 2013 Seasonlong Kia Community Assist Award winner will be determined by fans and a distinguished panel of NBA judges, including past J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award winners and NBA Legends Bob Lanier and Dikembe Mutombo.  Fan voting will take place on a dedicated tab on the NBA Facebook page. Kia and the NBA will donate $25,000 to the winner’s charity of choice.

In honor of their outstanding efforts in the community, a total of 10 players have been nominated for the award:

Tyson Chandler, New York Knicks

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Chandler and his wife Kimberly established “Rebound 4 Rockaway,” an initiative to aid victims and support rebuilding efforts.  Chandler also became a strong supporter of UNICEF this season after traveling to Africa with the organization this past summer. His experiences in Africa also led him to film a public service announcement for WildAid, an organization dedicated to reducing the human threat to endangered species.

Charity of choice: U.S. Fund for UNICEF

Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets

Faried is a champion for equality and recently joined Athlete Ally to encourage acceptance of others and put an end to homophobia in sports.  Faried also supported the message of inclusion by participating as an honorary coach at the 2013 NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Sports Basketball Game during NBA All-Star in Houston, in addition to participating in a Denver Nuggets Special Olympics clinic for 125 athletes from Special Olympics Colorado.

Charity of choice: Lupus Colorado

Tyler Hansbrough, Indiana Pacers

Having watched his older brother battle brain cancer, today Hansbrough provides support to the non-profit organization Voices Against Brain Cancer, which raises funding for research and treatment for the disease.  He also shows his appreciation for our nation’s military members and their families by treating them to Pacers games throughout the season as part of his “Hansbrough’s Sideline Soldiers.”

Charity of choice: Voices Against Brain Cancer

David Lee, Golden State Warriors

An advocate for health and wellness, this season Lee continued his work as a St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital ambassador and lent his support to Us Against Cancer, an organization that is devoted to funding cancer research and raising awareness.  Lee also donated $25,000 to support the City of Oakland’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner which was being threatened by budget cuts.

Charity of choice: Us Against Cancer

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

The face of the Trail Blazers’ anti-bullying campaign, “Respect, Pass It On,” Lillard is passionate about promoting a message of respect for all.  He also supports breast cancer awareness and enjoys having a genuine connection with the Portland community, particularly within the local schools where he’s spent time with teachers and students.

Charity of choice: Portland Parks & Recreation

Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves

Love is an active supporter of local children and families. The annual Kevin Love Coat Drive has resulted in thousands of coats donated to individuals in need throughout Minneapolis over the past 5 years. This season, Love also supported Special Olympics Minnesota as a participant in the Polar Bear Plunge. In addition, as an ambassador for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, he has spent time with patients both in Minnesota and in Memphis.

Charity of choice: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

 Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

Through his CP3 Foundation, the six-time NBA All-Star continues to have a positive impact on communities in Winston-Salem, N.C., New Orleans and Los Angeles. He is also an active member of the President’s Council on Sports Fitness and Nutrition, and supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Share our Strength, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Prevent Child Abuse America.

Charity of choice: CP3 Foundation

Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies

Randolph is a longtime supporter of Make-A-Wish America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Humane Society of Memphis.  A standout in the community during holiday initiatives, he also hosted a number of events and shopping sprees for the local community and continued to pay utility bills for residents in need.

Charity of choice: Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis

Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat

This season, Wade and his Wade’s World Foundation supported a number of non-profit organizations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The nine-time NBA All-Star also continued to be an active voice in the promotion of fatherhood and family, most recently joining best-selling author James Patterson for a national online webcast to promote literacy among young people across the country.

Charity of choice: Wade’s World Foundation

Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets

Through his Point of Hope Foundation, Williams supports autism awareness and organizations that directly impact the lives of children.  He was very active in the Brooklyn community this season, particularly through his work with the Food Bank for New York City and Hurricane Sandy relief and rebuilding efforts.   A spokesperson for Autism Speaks, Deron also raised awareness and funding for research for autism awareness during National Autism Awareness Month.

Charity of choice: Point of Hope Foundation

Kia Motors has been an NBA Cares partner since 2010.  In addition to the Seasonlong Kia Community Assist Award, the league presents the Kia Community Assist Award monthly throughout the season to recognize players for their charitable efforts.

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