McLemore Earns NBA Community Assist Award
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Former Kansas star and current Sacramento Kings guard Ben McLemore is the recipient of the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for December in recognition of his ongoing charitable efforts in the Sacramento community and beyond.
According to Friday’s NBA press release, the award recognizes one player each month who best reflects the passion the league and its players have for giving back to their communities.
“When I was growing up, my family didn’t have much, so it’s always been extremely important for me to give back and help wherever I can,” said McLemore in the release. “To have the opportunity to be a role model for young kids is an honor that I take very seriously, and I’m just blessed to be in this position to help.”
In his two seasons in the NBA, McLemore has made giving back a priority throughout the Sacramento community and in his hometown of Wellston, Missouri. In 2013, he partnered with his high school coach to establish “All 4 Kids,” a nonprofit organization working to provide healthy meals to children in need.
This holiday season, McLemore took several Sacramento-area kids on a shopping spree as part of the Kings’ “Season of Doing Good.” McLemore, who credits his mother for his success, stipulated that each child had to get a present for their parents before selecting their own gifts. Additionally, he hosted a Christmas party for the residents of the St. Louis Hope House and handed out turkeys and hot meals in his hometown. Recently, McLemore joined his Sacramento Kings teammates to donate over $200,000 in home game tickets to local children and families, with McLemore’s going towards Saint John’s Program for Real Change in Sacramento.
In his two years in Lawrence (2011-13), McLemore helped and thoroughly enjoyed KU’s annual holiday tradition of fulfilling shopping lists for local families in need. A consensus All-America Second Team selection in 2013, McLemore always spoke of giving back to his hometown as soon as he was able and has made good on his promise.
“Not only is Ben an extremely talented basketball player, but more importantly, he’s a tremendous person,” said Kings Chairman and Owner Vivek Ranadivé in the same release. “He’s constantly giving back to the community and doing everything he can to make a difference, which sends a very positive message to the many young kids that look up to him. He’s a wonderful role model, and we are proud to have him in our organization.”
In honor of McLemore’s consistent commitment to the community, the NBA is donating $10,000 to Wind Youth Services on his behalf, so they may continue their crucial efforts to help youth who need assistance. During tonight’s home game against the Miami Heat, McLemore and Wind will be recognized during an on-court ceremony by NBA Legend Bob Lanier, Ranadivé and Team President Chris Granger.
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