NBA Community Assist Award
Los Angeles Lakers forward-center Pau Gasol is
the recipient of the first-ever seasonlong NBA Community Assist Award in
recognition of his outstanding efforts in the community and his ongoing
philanthropic and charitable work, the NBA announced today.
Kia and the NBA are honoring Gasol in part for his ongoing support of
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The pre-medical-student-turned-NBA-star
has been a hospital champion for the past several years. In addition to
frequent visits with patients, Gasol facilitated a new partnership this
year between the hospital and Grifols, a Barcelona-based global health
care company. The company has since donated a Phocus RX machine to
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, which enhances safety and efficiency,
and plans to donate an inventory management system to the hospital’s
pharmacy. Gasol’s passion for supporting children’s health also compelled
him to serve as a Hoops for St. Jude ambassador to benefit the kids of
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In his third consecutive year as
an ambassador, Gasol spent time with young patients battling cancer and
other deadly diseases at St. Jude and filmed a public service
announcement to help increase awareness and funding for the hospital.
“I am honored to receive the 2011-12 Kia Community Assist Award and
thrilled that it will benefit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles,” said
Gasol. “Supporting children’s health and wellness is my passion, and
Children’s Hospital does a tremendous job of giving children with serious
illnesses a chance to grow up and become healthy adults.”
Understanding the importance of providing children access to education,
Gasol has also served as a UNICEF ambassador for the last nine years. His
efforts include the launch of Pau’s Project in 2010, an initiative that
supports UNICEF education and nutrition programs in Africa. This season,
Gasol dedicated a significant amount of time to raising awareness and
funds for UNICEF, including participating in UNICEF’s “Beyond School
Books” podcast series to highlight the importance of early childhood care
and education. He also narrated a storybook app titled “Give a Day” in
three languages, with proceeds benefitting UNICEF through Pau’s Project,
and conducted a “text to donate” campaign, which gave two lucky teenagers
from Madrid an all-expense-paid trip to Los Angeles.
As the 2011-12 Kia Community Assist Award recipient, Gasol 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, Kia and the NBA will donate $25,000 on Gasol’s
behalf to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Kia Motors has been an NBA Cares partner since 2010, highlighted by their
participation in the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service. This season, Kia
has expanded its NBA Cares partnership by serving as title partner of the
Community Assist Award.
The league presents the Kia Community Assist Award monthly throughout the
season as well as a final award at the end of the season 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.