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Gay receives NBA Cares Community Assist Award for March

By Official Release
Posted Apr 13 2010 5:41PM

NEW YORK, April 13, 2010 -- Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay has been named the recipient of the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for March in recognition of his outstanding efforts in the community and for his ongoing philanthropic and charitable work.

The NBA is honoring Gay in part for the role that he played in the Hoops for St. Jude campaign, which helped raise funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Gay donated $22,222.22 to the initiative and led a group that included fellow NBA players and Denver Nuggets Head Coach George Karl to help support the nationwide Hoops for St. Jude campaign. As part of his effort, Gay visited St. Jude Children's Research Hospital prior to the start of the campaign to shoot public service announcements with patients and their families that later aired during Grizzlies games to bring awareness and support the world-renowned children's hospital. Taking the lead in the Hoops for St. Jude campaign was important to Gay, who has dedicated time throughout his career to children and their families at both the hospital and Memphis Grizzlies House, a short-term housing facility located on St. Jude's campus.

"Visiting Memphis Grizzlies House and St. Jude as a member of the Grizzlies has given me the opportunity to meet many St. Jude patients over the years and see for myself the children's inspiring courage," said Gay.

"I'm honored that I've been able to help out an institution so important to me in a city that has become home."

In addition to his work with St. Jude, for the third consecutive season Gay hosted Staxtacular, an event that benefits the Stax Music Academy, which provides mentoring, music education, and exciting performance opportunities designed to enhance its students' music abilities and academic leadership skills. Prior to the event each year, Gay has visited the Academy to take part in a jam session with the students and meet sponsors to help bring awareness to the fundraiser that raised $90,000 this year alone. Each year Gay has personally reached out to his friends from the NBA and others in the sports world to help donate auction items to an event that supports the Memphis institution.

"Each year I've seen Rudy take on more and more of a role as an ambassador of good will in Memphis and I'm very proud of him for the steps that he's taken as a leader of our team and in our community," said Chris Wallace, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations.

As the March NBA Cares Community Assist Award recipient, Gay will receive the David Robinson Plaque with the inscription, "Following the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson who improved the community piece by piece."

In addition, a $5,000 donation will be given by the NBA on behalf of Gay to support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

The league presents the NBA Cares Community Assist Award monthly to recognize players for their charitable efforts. The award honors the NBA player who best reflects the passion that the league and its players have for giving back to their communities.

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