LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Two former Kentucky men’s basketball players aren’t just NBA All-Stars on the court; they’re also considered two of the best in aiding the community. For their extraordinary efforts in the community, Anthony Davis (pictured, below) and John Wall (pictured, right) were named two of 10 finalists for the NBA Cares Community Assist Award on Monday, May 9.
Each month during the NBA regular season the NBA Cares Community Assist Award is awarded to an NBA player in recognition of his outstanding commitment and dedication to making a difference in his community. Davis was the recipient of the March NBA Cares Community Assist Award, while Wall earned the distinction in October.
Kentucky’s alumni are among 10 players nominated for the season-long honor. Also nominated are Carmelo Anthony, Mike Conley, Andre Drummond, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Zach LaVine, Damian Lillard and Victor Oladipo.
Fans are asked to help vote for this year’s recipient of the season-long award. Using both #NBACommunity Assist and a player’s name (i.e.: #AnthonyDavis or #JohnWall) fans can vote on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Voting will also take place via the NBA Cares Web site where fans can learn more about each player’s charitable efforts. Voting will take place from May 9-18.
Following their time at Kentucky, both Davis and Wall began charitable foundations in their names for continuing efforts in the community.
The Anthony Davis Foundation includes “AD’s Flight Academy” and consists of monthly events with various community groups. He focuses on youth development and is a member of the Jr. NBA Leadership Counsel.
The John Wall Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged families and at-risk youth. He created the “Passport to Manhood” mentor program in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Club. Additionally, Wall hosts the annual “#2SQUAD” which helps with back-to-school supplies.
In March, Davis hosted a basketball clinic for more than 100 children and awarded each child with a ticket to the Pelicans’ game the following night. Davis has been extremely active in the New Orleans Pelicans’ player-ticket program, where he has aided nearly 6,500 local children in attending Pelicans games.
Additionally, Davis has supported coastal restoration efforts in the New Orleans area. He donated a one-on-one “Bowling with the Brow” experience in each of the last two seasons which has helped raise $30,000 for educational programming on coastal restoration.
Wall was recognized for his continuing efforts in the community with the season’s first monthly honor in October. Wall’s most notable efforts center on his five-year-old friend, DaMiyah Telemaque-Nelson, who tragically passed away weeks before her sixth birthday.
Wall donated to research for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He sponsored the “Miyah’s Troupe: a team for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk in Washington. He missed a Wizards’ preseason game to attend the event.
He’s also donated backpacks filled with school supplies to 600 students in Washington, D.C., and his hometown of Raleigh, N.C. Furthermore, he donated $400,000 to a non-profit organization providing shelter, education and meals to homeless children and their families called D.C.’s Bright Beginnings.
Photos by Jamie H. Vaught