The Washington Wizards’ on-court performance during the 2015-16 season may have been a disappointment, but off the court their franchise player’s lauded community work will be recognized Thursday afternoon when the NBA will present John Wall with its NBA Cares Community Assist Award.
Wall will receive the award at Bright Beginnings Inc. in the District. Wall donated $400,000 to Bright Beginnings, an educational development center for homeless children, in September. The NBA will give $25,000 to the John Wall Foundation, which will then be donated to Bright Beginnings for a new playground.
The award was voted on by fans through social media and an NBA panel of judges. Wall received support on social media from a variety of celebrities, including Wolf Blitzer, Lil Kim, Jesse Williams, Ludacris, Future and Fabolous. Wall is the fifth player to receive the award, which was established in 2012.
Wall sponsored “Miyah’s Troupe,” a group that participated in October’s Light the Night Walk fundraiser in Washington in honor of his friend DaMiyah Telemaque-Nelson, who died at age 5 in December 2014 of Burkitt’s lymphoma. Wall, who spoke at Miyah’s funeral, skipped the Wizards’ preseason game in Milwaukee against the Bucks to take part in the walk.
Wall has also funded the Passport to Manhood at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington, a program designed to teach teenage boys responsibility, leadership and the importance of community service; hosted various Wizards Make-A-Wish Nights; and participated in his second “FITTED” Prom Project, which provided 10 high school seniors with their prom outfits. Wall has also served the community in his native Raleigh, N.C., where he sponsors an AAU basketball program.
“I am honored and humbled to be selected as the 2016 Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award winner and would like to thank all the fans and my many friends who voted for me on social media,” said Wall. “I am privileged to be in a position to better my communities in both Washington and Raleigh and I consider the outreach that I do to be the most rewarding part of being an NBA player.”