NEW YORK – The NBA today announced Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton as the Offseason NBA Cares Community Assist Award winner in recognition of his sustained efforts to create access to youth sports in his communities prior to the 2022-23 season. This is the sixth year the NBA has presented an offseason award to a player for his impactful work from the end of the regular season to the start of the following season.
Serving the Pat Connaughton Foundation’s mission to inspire and motivate young athletes to put their dreams into action – whatever their dreams may be, Connaughton spent his offseason creating spaces where youth could play basketball and receive premiere skill development and character-building experiences through several clinics in the Milwaukee and Boston areas. The first two clinics took place in July at St. Augustine Prep in Milwaukee and Mukwonago High School in Mukwonago, WI. At St. Augustine, The Pat Connaughton Foundation donated $50,000 to create brand new basketball courts, providing a high-end gym for inner city students and community members to have a safe space to play. The new courts come as part of his Connaughton Courts program, which refurbished basketball courts to help transform the communities they serve. Connaughton unveiled one of the two new courts this summer, with the second to be completed in 2023. The third clinic was hosted in August at Connaughton’s high school alma mater, St. Johns Prep, on the very first Connaughton Court built just outside of Boston in Danvers, MA. As a hands-on clinic leader, Connaughton reached nearly 500 youth basketball players through this summer’s clinics, building on his dedication to shaping the next generation of leaders through sport.
On Sept. 7 the Pat Connaughton Foundation announced its partnership with Reagan High School in Milwaukee to provide a new Connaughton Court. The court is set to open in 2023 as part of the response to direct need of an under-resourced student body not only for a space to have quality physical education, but to access fully equipped facilities for student-athletes to use for years to come. An outgrowth of his commitment to his hometown and the community that raised him, Connaughton and The Pat Connaughton Foundation plan to announce more court renovations in 2023.
“As a multi-sport athlete, sport has taught me some of life’s most valuable lessons – hard work, teamwork, accountability, discipline, and commitment,” said Connaughton. “I want to give back to the communities I call home and provide our next generation with opportunities and life lessons through the lens of youth sports. My goal is always to show kids their potential and inspire them to dream big. Whether they want to be a professional athlete, a scientist, a teacher, or anything else when they grow up, it’s possible. The lessons and values that they learn on the court translate across their lives and can help them achieve incredible things. I am honored to be in a position and have a platform that allows me to inspire the next generation of student athletes and shape them into our future leaders.”
Bucks and Fiserv Forum President Peter Feigin and Bucks General Manager Jon Horst will present Connaughton with the award during an oncourt ceremony before the team’s home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. CT. The NBA will donate $10,000 to the Pat Connaughton Foundation.
The NBA Cares Community Assist Award recognizes an NBA player each month during the season 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. At the end of the 2022-23 regular season, the Bob Lanier NBA Cares Community Assist Award (formerly Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award) winner will be announced. The seasonlong recognition was renamed earlier this year as tribute to late Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and NBA Global Ambassador, Bob Lanier, for his dedication to teaching NBA values and making a positive impact on communities across the globe. Nominees will include Connaughton, the offseason winner, the six monthly winners and three additional players selected for their exceptional community work. To learn more, please visit http://www.nba.com/communityassist/.
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 6.2 million hours of hands-on service and created more than 2,040 places where kids and families can live, learn or play in communities around the world. Internationally, NBA Cares has created more than 375 places where kids and families can live, learn or play in 40 countries and territories. NBA Cares works with nationally and internationally recognized youth-serving programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes, including: Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Vera Institute of Justice, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, UNICEF, Special Olympics, The Jed Foundation, Share Our Strength and GLSEN.