THE 2004 USA MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM TO RECIEVE NBA COMMUNITY ASSIST AWARD FOR AUGUST
Posted Aug 31 2004 11:55AM
NEW YORK, August 25, 2004 – The 12 members of the 2004 USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team are the recipients of the NBA Community Assist Award for the month of August. As part of the “Hoops for Troops” pre-Olympic initiative, the members of USA Basketball showed their support for United States military personnel serving around the globe by hosting thousands of service men and women at numerous practices, scrimmages and games during their pre-Olympic training.
"With the support that these men and are giving our entire country, we believe that what they do is really important," said USA Basketball assistant coach Gregg Popovich, a 1970 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. "It's nice to give them a little time to think of something different than what their ultimate tasks are when they leave our country and go elsewhere to protect all of us. If we can do anything like this scrimmage to get them to cheer and laugh, it's an honor that we will cherish."
In Jacksonville, Florida, USA Basketball hosted approximately 3,000 servicemen and women at the USA vs. Puerto Rico scrimmage at the University of North Florida and treated them to a special behind the scenes experience at the game.
While in Cologne, Germany, the team hosted approximately 750 troops from the Army bases of Kaiserslautern, Darmstadt, Heidelberg and Mannheim, and from the Spangdahlem U.S. Air Force base.
In addition to the "Hoops for Troops" activities, USA Basketball had arranged for the entire six-game "World Tour" of exhibition games to be seen via the Armed Forces Network and the U.S. Navy's Direct-to-Ships (DTS) service. The games reached approximately 800,000 men and women in the military stationed overseas in 177 countries and aboard more than 180 Navy ships at sea.
The "Hoops for Troops" program was part of USA Basketball's training camp held in Germany, Serbia & Montenegro and Turkey in the weeks leading up to the Olympic Games in Athens.
“I hope it brightened their days even if just for a day or two,” said USA Basketball Center Tim Duncan. “As much as they are fighting for us and the freedom that they give us, just to do a little bit to brighten their day was an honor.”
USA Basketball’s community outreach is a continuation of the numerous programs that the player’s conduct throughout the NBA season in both their hometowns and NBA cities. Each year, NBA players donate millions of dollars and thousands of hours to charity and community outreach programs. During this year’s NBA Summer of Goodwill, a multitude of players will continue a long-standing NBA tradition by hosting hundreds of community events and appearances in the United States, Canada and abroad.
The following is just a sampling of each USA Basketball player’s ongoing community outreach:
Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets) – In Denver, Anthony works extensively with the Family Resource Centers, a Colorado organization dedicated to family and children's support services. The Family Resource Center Association is comprised of 24 centers from 39 counties throughout Colorado whose programs serve over 70,000 people.
Carlos Boozer (Utah Jazz) - Stressing the importance of education, goal-setting and leadership skills, Boozer regularly speaks with children and young adults to share his message. Recently, met with 100 student-athletes and school leaders from North Royalton High School (North Royalton, OH) where he also talked about college recruiting, challenges off the court, team leadership and what motivates him to succeed. Boozer was also the Community Assist Award winner for March 2004.
Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs) – The Tim Duncan Foundation funds nonprofit organizations in the areas of education, youth sports and recreation, health awareness and research. Funds for the foundation are raised through numerous special events and fundraisers in which Duncan is involved.
Allen Iverson (Philadelphia 76ers) - Iverson received the Community Assist award for the month of June for his work with The Crossover Foundation, Inc., which benefits Boys & Girls Clubs.
LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) - James’ youth fitness program PE2GO encourages physical education improvements in schools through teacher training, special gym classes and equipment donations.
Richard Jefferson (New Jersey Nets) – Jefferson regularly takes part in Nets Reading Timeouts with local children and has joined his teammates to serve turkey dinners during Thanksgiving.
Stephon Marbury (New York Knicks) - Marbury has a passion for the kids growing up in his old neighborhood. During the off-season he hosts the Annual Stephon Marbury Basketball Classic, a six-week summer basketball tournament in his boyhood neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY.
Shawn Marion (Phoenix Suns) – Marion focuses on three areas in the community: cancer victims and their families, children’s basketball leagues, and organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Fanny May Foundation, which help people become first time home owners. Marion has received the Community Assist Award for his involvement with Project Salute in June 2003 and also in August of 2002 for his $1 million donation to the Valley of the Sun United Way.
Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers) – Odom received the Community Assist Award in May of 2004 for his work with Robertson Auguste. Auguste, a 13 year-old boy from the Hialeah area of Miami was the lone survivor of a fire that destroyed his home, he was touched and immediately wanted to help. Robertson lost four siblings as a result of the fire, leaving him with his 20-year-old brother who was not at home at the time of the fire. Odom embraced the devastated brothers and took them under his wing.
Emeka Okafor (Charlotte Bobcats) – While in New York for the NBA Draft in June, Okafor took part in a Basketball & Books Clinic with other top prospects at the Dunlevy Milbank Center.
Amare Stoudemire (Phoenix Suns) – Stoudemire hosted a Thanksgiving-style dinner for kids at the Herbert Kieckhefer Branch of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix. Prior to the dinner, Stoudemire presented the Boys and Girls Clubs with a check for $30,000, his winnings from a recent appearance on the game show “Wheel of Fortune” during its “NBA Week”. The money will be used to fund “The Amare Power Hour”, a homework tutoring program for kids ages 8-18 available at all Phoenix branches.
Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat) - Wade purchased twenty season tickets to Miami HEAT home games for underprivileged children throughout the South Florida community establishing his own section, “Wade’s World.”
As the recipient of the NBA Community Assist Award, Team USA will be presented with the David Robinson Plaque, with the inscription “Following the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson who improved the community piece by piece.” Last season, NBA Commissioner David Stern presented former San Antonio Spurs center David Robinson with an honorary plaque and announced that all future winners of the NBA Community Assist Award would receive the David Robinson Plaque.
The NBA Community Assist Award is given out monthly by the league to recognize players for their charitable efforts. The award honors the NBA player who reflects the passion that the league and its players have for their communities. All 30 NBA teams are able to nominate a player for the award each month.