NEW YORK – The NBA has named Celtics All-Star guard Ray Allen the recipient of the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for January in recognition of his outstanding efforts in the community and his ongoing philanthropic and charitable work.
The NBA is honoring Allen in part for his efforts in supporting U.S. soldiers overseas and his commitment to supporting community-based programs for local youth and families. Allen tipped off the month by taking time to chat via video link to members of the 3rd Battalion 126 Aviation Regiment Unit currently stationed in Kuwait. Having come from a military family, Allen appreciates the sacrifices made by U.S. soldiers and spent the time thanking the men and women for their bravery and answering their questions. Later in the month, Allen provided 20 tickets to active-duty military soldiers and their families through the Celtics Seats for Soldiers program. Prior to tip-off, Ray came out and met with 100 military soldiers and their families.
Allen also took time in January to join Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick for Project 351, a day that was focused on Massachusetts’ commitment toward the next generation of leaders, role models, and learners. Each city and town in Massachusetts selected one eighth grader that spent a day of service joined by the governor and Ray Allen. Ray worked with eighth graders from across the state to pack apples and gift bags for the elderly. In addition, he spent time speaking to the youth and encouraging them to remain dedicated to their goals. Allen also filmed a PSA for Project 351 and purchased tickets for a Celtics game for the children and their mentors.
“It’s crucial to support today’s youth because they are the next generation of leaders,” said Allen. “Building technology labs and just taking the time to speak with them goes a long way. I had a lot of people that helped me growing up and I want to do the same for our youth today.”
In an effort to educate fans about some of the extraordinary African-American leaders, Allen also recently taped multiple vignettes in which he talked about Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall, Harriet Tubman, and W.E.B. Dubois, among others. The vignettes are airing in-arena throughout February. In January, the Ray of Hope Foundation announced that it would create a new computer lab in a local Boston community center. Earlier this season, Allen participated in the creation of the Raytheon computer lab in a Boston school and saw the impact it had on the students.
As an NBA Cares Community Assist Award recipient, Allen 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, the NBA will donate $5,000 to the charitable foundation of his choice.
The league presents the NBA Cares Community Assist Award monthly throughout the season and once following each offseason 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.
To learn more about NBA Cares, please log on to www.nbacares.com.