Wizards’ Kyle Kuzma named NBA Cares Bob Lanier Community Assist Award November winner

NEW YORK – The NBA today announced Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma as the NBA Cares Bob Lanier Community Assist Award November winner for giving back to his hometown of Flint, Michigan and hosting a special event through his foundation (Kyle Kuzma Family Foundation).  Each month, the NBA Cares Bob Lanier Community Assist Award recognizes a player monthly for their outstanding work in the community.

On November 26, Kuzma surprised mothers at the Genesee County Jail in Flint with clothing and gifts for them and their children for the holidays.  Kuzma also unveiled Kuz’s corner – two newly renovated jail cells as a part of a larger effort to upgrade the facility’s conditions.

In conjunction with the event, Kuzma announced the launch of a special partnership through his foundation with I.G.N.I.T.E. and R.I.S.E. to support residents of the facility for a successful future when they re-enter society.  I.G.N.I.T.E’s mission is to reverse the cycle of generational incarceration through education by providing residents with valuable job training and skills that they can use upon release to gain employment and reduce the likelihood of reoffending.  Since inception in 2020, I.G.N.I.T.E. has provided more than 250,000 hours of educational training to over 2,500 residents leading to a reduction of assaults and violent offenses in the jail by 97%.  R.I.S.E.’s mission is to ensure that residents in the Genesee County Jail have access to behavioral and social health support services and complements the work of I.G.N.I.T.E.

Also in November, Kuzma and others from Monumental Basketball (Washington Wizards, Washington Mystics, Capital City Go-Go and Wizards District Gaming) partnered to host Thankful Meals presented by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, a community outreach event to serve Washington D.C.’s Ward 7 and Ward 8 residents.  Kuzma distributed over 1,500 hot meals from Black-owned restaurant Henry’s Soul Café.  Those in attendance also went home with a GIANT food store gift card.

“Helping to uplift the communities that are special to me is a privilege, so being recognized for that work is a humbling experience, particularly when it takes place during the season of giving,” said Kuzma.  “I’m proud to share this honor with my family and support system as well as my teammates and the entire Wizards organization, as all of us are committed to continuing to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Kuzma will be recognized in-arena as the NBA Cares Bob Lanier Community Assist Award winner during pre-game of the Dec. 29 Nets-Wizards game.  Washington Wizards General Manager Will Dawkins will present him with the award.

The NBA Cares Bob Lanier Community Assist Award honors Bob Lanier, an NBA League Office executive and NBA Cares Ambassador for more than 30 years.  He had an enormous influence on the NBA family and young people globally, traveling the world to teach the values of the game and making a positive impact through his kindness and generosity.  The legacy he built will continue to live on through the NBA Cares Bob Lanier Community Assist Award recognition, which honors the next generation of players’ commitment to positively impacting their community throughout the NBA season.  To learn more, please visit https://communityassist.nba.com/.