pau gasol

Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers has been voted the 2011-12 winner of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, named after the second commissioner of the NBA and presented annually by the Professional Basketball Writers Association and given annually to the player, coach or trainer who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community.

Gasol has been a tireless worker worldwide on behalf of various UNICEF causes. He has been a UNICEF Ambassador for seven years and traveled the globe working with programs aimed at nutrition and education for children.

“Pau’s work epitomizes all that is good about NBA players and their charitable works not only in their own communities but around the world,” said Doug Smith of the Toronto Star and the president of the Professional Basketball Writers Association. “Working to help children realize their potential and to provide them with opportunities they might not otherwise get truly characterizes outstanding service and dedication.”

The PBWA comprises approximately 150 writers for newspapers, Internet services and magazines, who cover the NBA on a regular basis. Its members nominate finalists for the award; the other finalists this year were Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks, Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks, and J.J. Redick of the Orlando Magic.