NEW YORK - Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam has received the February NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente in recognition of his efforts to empower and inspire youth in both local and global communities, the NBA announced today. The award recognizes an NBA player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and its players share for giving back to their communities.
Kaiser Permanente and the NBA are honoring Siakam for his efforts to engage youth through the game across Canada and Africa. Siakam visits numerous schools in Toronto and throughout Canada as an ambassador for Right To Play, encouraging students to rise above adversity through sports and education. As a representative for the Sun Life Dunk for Diabetes program, he also inspires children to lead healthy and active lives. Utilizing his fluency in English and French, he has empowered youth in many marginalized communities to overcome obstacles and become leaders.
In August, the Cameroon native played in the NBA Africa Game 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa and visited the 16th edition of Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa, where he mentored campers in oncourt development and life skills training as an alumnus of the program. Throughout the week, Siakam participated in a series of events that left a lasting impact in Johannesburg, including a Habitat for Humanity service project, a training camp for the Jr. NBA World Championship Africa & Middle East teams and a visit to the Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory. In December, he represented Cameroon at the Giants of Africa Gala in Toronto, part of a two-day celebration honoring Nelson Mandela and his vision that sports have the power to inspire and change the world.
"I am excited and honored to receive the Community Assist Award for February. My passion is basketball and I'm so lucky to be able to use this sport to give back to my community," said Siakam. "Basketball is bigger than just a game. It's an opportunity to give back to my new home of Toronto as well as Cameroon."
Before the Raptors' home game against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday (6 p.m. ET), NBA Canada Managing Director Dan MacKenzie and Toronto Raptors General Manager Bobby Webster will present the award to Siakam during an oncourt ceremony. In addition, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will donate $10,000 on Siakam's behalf to Right To Play.
The NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente honors the standard set by NBA legend David Robinson, who improved the community piece by piece. At the end of the 2018-19 regular season, the Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award winner will be announced at the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia. 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 more than 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. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.
About NBA Cares
NBA Cares is the league's global social responsibility program that builds on the NBA's mission of addressing important social issues. NBA Cares programs and participants have provided more than 4.7 million hours of hands-on service and created more than 1,250 places where kids and families can live, learn or play in communities around the world. The NBA also engages more than 26 million youth annually, inspiring play and teaching the values of the game. NBA Cares works with internationally recognized youth-serving programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes, including: Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Special Olympics, YMCA of the USA, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, UNICEF, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Share Our Strength and GLSEN.