See the five names indicated for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Trophy, for their social actions this year
The NBA has revealed the five finalists for the prestigious 2022-23 NBA Social Justice Champion award. These players have demonstrated remarkable dedication to advancing social justice causes and embody the spirit of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s legacy, who names the award trophy. Let’s take a closer look at each finalist.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors: Uplifting Marginalized Communities
Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors’ talented guard, has used his influence to support marginalized communities. He played a key role in Michelle Obama’s “When We All Vote” campaign, promoting voter registration and turnout during the midterm elections.
This resulted in millions of new voters engaging in the political process. Curry also engaged with President Biden on policy matters and addressed community safety issues during a White House press briefing. Beyond politics, he donated $6 million to revitalize golf teams at Howard University and supported community-driven projects in East Oakland.
Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies: Educational and Economic Opportunity Advocate
Jaren Jackson Jr., the Memphis Grizzlies’ forward-center, is dedicated to promoting educational and economic opportunities, women’s empowerment, and civic engagement. He provided classroom supplies to local teachers, supported women’s empowerment initiatives, and helped families eliminate overdue housing and utility bills.
He also donated to youth-serving nonprofits and emphasized the significance of voting through a public service announcement, encouraging civic engagement among eligible voters.
Tre Jones, San Antonio Spurs: Advancing Physical and Mental Well-being
Tre Jones, the guard for the San Antonio Spurs, has established a strong bond with the local community. Particularly in promoting physical and mental well-being as part of health equity. He showed support for the Tree City Spurs, a girls’ basketball team, following a tragic shooting by hosting them and their families at the Spurs practice facility, providing solace and unity.
Jones also serves as an ambassador for the Spurs Youth Basketball League. He has been empowering youth in economically disadvantaged areas and teaching important values. Additionally, he contributed to local initiatives for individuals experiencing homelessness and donated a mobile gaming system to Methodist Children’s Hospital, prioritizing the well-being of young patients.
Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns: Supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Chris Paul, the Phoenix Suns’ guard, has a strong connection to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). He actively supports these institutions, their students, and alumni. Besides that, Paul facilitates employment opportunities for HBCU graduates to diversify traditional workplaces, hosts HBCU basketball tournaments, and created an educational course expanding to HBCUs nationwide.
Paul endows scholarships, provides internships, and grants funds to Black-owned businesses through the Social Change Fund United. He collaborates with Michelle Obama to increase student voting engagement and serves on President Biden’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs, using his political involvement to advocate for the significance of the HBCU experience.
Grant Williams, Boston Celtics: Advocate for Criminal Justice Reform
Grant Williams, the Boston Celtics’ forward, is a passionate advocate for social justice, with a focus on criminal justice reform. He played a key role in advocating for the “Raise the Age” bill in Massachusetts, participating in the Play for Justice event and engaging with formerly incarcerated individuals. Williams is involved in the Celtics’ Playbook Initiative, training high school students to address bias and discrimination in their communities.
His efforts led to the program being endorsed by the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents. Additionally, Williams supports the creation of Curbside Care, a mobile clinic addressing Black maternal health inequities in Boston’s communities by providing prenatal and postpartum care to eliminate barriers contributing to high mortality rates among Black and Brown mothers.
Winner Announcement and Contributions
The winner of the 2022-23 NBA Social Justice Champion award will be announced during the 2023 NBA Conference Finals. The recipient will receive a $100,000 donation from the NBA for a social justice organization of their choice. The other four finalists will each select a social justice organization to receive a $25,000 contribution on their behalf, further supporting their respective causes.