NEW YORK – San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills has received the February NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente in recognition of his continued efforts to create opportunities that empower Indigenous young people and advance social justice in his native Australia, the NBA announced today. The award recognizes a player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and NBA players share for giving back to their communities.
In February, Indigenous Basketball Australia, which was founded by Mills to provide pathways for Aboriginal Australians to play basketball, tipped off the first-ever Indigenous Community Basketball League (ICBL) for players age 14 and under in eight locations across Australia. The tournaments, which preserve and celebrate Indigenous cultural practices, focus on basketball development and life skills education, including mental and physical well-being as well as strengthening individual identity at a critical age. Additionally, Mills partnered with the NBA and the Jr. NBA to announce the National Indigenous Basketball Tournament (NIBT) at the Gold Coast in Queensland from April 11-13, which will provide additional on- and off-court development opportunities for 48 boys and girls.
Mills has dedicated much of his professional playing career in the United States to giving back to Australia, with a particular focus on empowering Indigenous young people and communities of color. In 2020, he donated the remainder of his 2019-20 season salary to social justice organizations and helped launch the ‘We Got You’ campaign in collaboration with other high-profile Australian athletes, dedicated to eliminating racism, exclusion and discrimination in sports. Mills also organized a $750,000 donation from nine Australian NBA players in the wake of the devastating Australian bushfires earlier in the year.
“Basketball as a sport has brought me happiness, joy, education and a real sense of purpose,” said Mills. “However, not everyone has had the same opportunities as I have, which is why I’m so dedicated to using my platform, my profile and my voice to develop innovative programs like IBA, which will allow my people to really own their story.”
Mills was presented with the award during a special virtual ceremony with league, Kaiser Permanente and Spurs officials on Friday, and will also be recognized during the team’s home game tonight against the Sacramento Kings at 8:30 p.m. ET. In addition, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will donate $10,000 on Mills’ behalf to Indigenous Basketball Australia.
The NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente recognizes an NBA player each month 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 2020-21 regular season, the Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award winner will be announced. 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 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. about.kp.org