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Memphis Grizzlies Forward Rudy Gay receives Kia Community Assist Award

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

NEW YORK, May 9, 2012 – Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay is the recipient of the Kia Community Assist Award for April in recognition of his outstanding efforts in the community and his ongoing philanthropic and charitable work, the NBA announced today. 

Kia and the NBA are honoring Gay in part for his ongoing support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.  Gay, who wears number 22, made a personal donation of $22,222.22 to the hospital. The longtime Hoops for St. Jude campaign ambassador also recorded a PSA to raise awareness of, and funding for, the campaign; and he led a group of his teammates on a visit to St. Jude’s Grizzlies House, where they spent time decorating cookies with the boys and girls.  In addition, Gay treated one young patient, Cortavious, and his family to a dream dinner.  He also invited the family to a Grizzlies game the following evening where Cortavious joined him on court during shoot around.   

“I am honored to receive the Kia Community Assist Award and thrilled to be in a position to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” said Gay.  “I am a huge fan of the organization - they truly work miracles for so many children and save lives every day.  The work that St. Jude does makes my job look small.”

Understanding the importance of providing young people with a safe place to learn and grow, Gay also served as a keynote speaker at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis’ annual Steak N’ Burger Dinner, which helped the organization raise more than $300,000.  Gay also lends support to the Stax Music Academy in Memphis, where he spends time with students and helps raise money for Staxtacular, the school’s annual fundraiser, by collecting autographed memorabilia for the silent auction and hosting meet and greets with the event sponsors.  With Gay’s help, this year Staxtacular raised more than $100,000.

As a Kia 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, Kia and the NBA will donate $10,000 on Gay’s behalf to the charity of his choice.

Kia Motors has been an NBA Cares partner since 2010, highlighted by their participation in the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service.  This season, Kia has expanded its NBA Cares partnership by serving as title partner of the Community Assist Award.

The league presents the Kia Community Assist Award monthly throughout the season as well as a final award at the end of the season to recognize players for their year-round 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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