NEW YORK, Feb. 18 -- San Antonio Spurs forward Malik Rose is the recipient of the NBA Community Assist Award for the month of January. The seven-year veteran has worked to make an impact off the court by working with various programs within the San Antonio community.

Rose began 2003 by participating in a Reading Time-Out at the San Antonio Symphony. Students from Rose Garden Elementary School spent an afternoon with Rose and members of the Symphony at the Majestic Theater as they read "The Remarkable Farkle McBride" and listened to the musicians play a piece of music using the instruments described in the book. An avid music lover, Rose discussed his passion for music and reading, and the integral part both played in his life as a youngster.

Rose is in his sixth season as a member of the Spurs and the San Antonio community.
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images
In addition to being involved in the Read to Achieve program, Rose serves as the honorary spokesperson for the Taco Cabana Hometown Achievers Scholarship Fund, and on Jan. 15 he unveiled two commemorative cups that the restaurant is selling at area Taco Cabana restaurants. A percentage of the cup sales will be donated to the scholarship fund, which will provide financial support to Bexar County high school seniors who plan on attending a public "hometown" university or community college. Rose displayed the two cups, a 44-ounce cup with the imprint of his hand and a 32-ounce cup that features on-court action shots of him. The scholarship fund will provide 25 $1,000 scholarships to Bexar County seniors, based on financial need, grade point average, school/community involvement, letters of recommendation and a personal narrative.

Rose also participated in the Tim Duncan Bowling for Dollar$ Charity Bowl-A-Thon for the fourth year. Rose and his teammates bowled and greeted tournament participants at the event, which raises funds for breast and prostate cancer prevention, detection, research and local support programs.

"It is truly an honor to be recognized with this award especially considering how important community service is to so many NBA players," Rose said. "I am just doing my part by giving back to the San Antonio community, particularly to the kids. Fortunately, I am in a position where I can make a difference in children's lives and I hope to be part of anything that's going to make kids happy."

Rose is involved in several community initiatives in the San Antonio area, including donating money to the San Antonio Boys & Girls Club every time he grabs a rebound during the 2002-03 season and purchasing ten season tickets for underprivileged youth every season. He also participates in several Spurs/Pizza Hut Drug-Free Youth Basketball League clinics and events, and has served as the Honorary Commissioner of the league for the past three seasons.

An active contributor to the NBA/Spurs Read to Achieve program, he regularly reads to children and appears in local and national PSAs supporting literacy. Rose regularly visits with Make-A-Wish and sick children at local hospitals, and has assisted in building homes for lower-income families to help revitalize San Antonio neighborhoods. He also partnered with UPS for the past two seasons to create the Parent of the Game program, which recognizes parents who take an active role in their children's lives, as Rose's mother does in his.

Other nominees for January's Community Assist Award included the Denver Nuggets' Juwan Howard, Golden State Warriors' Antawn Jamison, Indiana Pacers' Jonathan Bender, Los Angeles Lakers' Kareem Rush, Miami Heat's Brian Grant, New Jersey Nets' Jason Kidd, Portland Trail Blazers' Dale Davis, Sacramento Kings' Vlade Divac and Toronto Raptors' Lamond Murray.

Rose joins the Detroit Pistons' Michael Curry (December), Dallas Mavericks' Michael Finley (November) and Philadelphia 76ers' Todd MacCulloch (October) in the Community Assist Award winners' circle for the 2002-03 NBA season.

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 29 NBA teams are able to nominate a player for the award each month.

The NBA, its teams and players are committed to programs that improve the quality of life for all people and has created and implemented programs that address important social issues, with a special emphasis on reading and online literacy initiatives for children. The NBA and its 29 teams make a difference in North America through the Read to Achieve Program, donations to charities and the implementation of community outreach initiatives, and through the production and airing of public service announcements.