Westbrook, Holiday Named Finalists for NBA Community Award
Former UCLA standout student-athletes Russell Westbrook and Jrue Holiday have been selected as two of 10 nominees for the 2020-21 NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente. The NBA's 10 finalists have shown unwavering commitment to their community and have made a substantial impact in the league, away from the court.
Westbrook recently concluded his 13th season in the NBA, his first year with the Washington Wizards. He was a two-year guard at UCLA from 2006-08 before being selected No. 4 overall in the 2008 NBA Draft. Holiday followed Westbrook at UCLA the next season. As a freshman in 2008-09, he helped lead the Bruins to a 26-9 record before getting selected No. 17 overall in the 2009 NBA Draft.
Fans can vote for this season's award by clicking here and by using Twitter and Jebbit, a mobile platform that specializes in data collection. Fan voting will take place from June 8-19.
Westbrook's benefiting charity for this season's award is "Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation." In his first season with the Wizards, Westbrook partnered with the LA Promise Fund to launch the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Academy in Los Angeles. Westbrook's academy has served students from middle school to high school and looks to establish better access to educational services and opportunities for children in south L.A. Westbrook had established The Why Not? Foundation in 2012, seeking to provide for at-risk populations, including education and mental health resources.
Last November, Westbrook and his foundation teamed up with the L.A. Regional Food Bank to deliver Thanksgiving meals to communities in Los Angeles. In December, he hosted a Christmas sneaker shoe giveaway for the students at The Children's Guild District of Columbia Public Charter School. Westbrook has taken a direct approach to help educate communities on inequities sustained by Black people in America.
Earlier this season, Holiday shared shared the January NBA Cares Community Assist Award with Dallas Mavericks guard Josh Richardson. His benefiting charity for this award is "The Jrue and Lauren Holiday Social Impact Fund." After having joined the Bucks' organization last fall, Jrue and his wife, Lauren, partnered with the Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation to identify small, women- and Black-owned business who were in need of help. The Holiday family later announced plans to help fund seven local businesses in the southeastern Wisconsin area.
In addition, Holiday has made long-term commitments to help those communities that are important to him and his family. The Jrue and Lauren Holiday Social Justice Fund has been created to help combat systemic racism and economic inequality. During the 2020-21 season, their fund had pledged support for 25 non-profits and historically Black institutions.