J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award
NEW YORK, April 17 -- Reggie Miller
of the Indiana Pacers is the 2004 recipient of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award presented annually by the Professional Basketball Writers Association.
Reggie Miller hoists the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.|
Ron Hoskins/NBAE/Getty Images
The Kennedy Citizenship award is the oldest citizenship and community service award in the NBA and is named for the second commissioner of the league. The award honors an NBA player or coach for outstanding service and dedication to the community.
Miller established the Reggie Miller Foundation in July 1999 and to date, it has raised more than $600,000 for programs focused on meeting the needs of young burn victims in the Indianapolis area. Here are some examples of Miller’s charitable endeavors over the last few years:
Hosts a charitable bowling event called “Reggie Bowl” that benefits the Reggie Miller Foundation.
Following the 9/11 attacks, Miller donated $1,000 for every three-point shot made during the season, contributing $268,000 overall.
After losing his own home in a fire, Miller has taken an active interest in helping burn victims. He hosts young burn victims at his home theater for movie nights and in his suite at Pacers games.
Makes frequent unannounced, unpublicized visits to Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis and to local schools after practice.
Often contacts fans to wish happy birthday or to commemorate a special event.
Has been honored by the Make-A-Wish Foundation for his efforts, often visiting with terminally ill children.
"The PBWA is proud to present Reggie Miller with the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship award for 2004," said Sam Smith, president of the PBWA. "Reggie is a truly concerned citizen whose work largely has been private and unpublicized throughout his career. He cares for people, not publicity. He is a wonderful example of a dedicated professional athlete."
The PBWA represents writers for newspapers, magazines and internet services who cover the NBA on a regular basis. Members nominate players for the award, then a vote is taken by the membership of approximately 150. The five finalists this season were Miller, Adonal Foyle and Nick Van Exel of the Golden State Warriors, Desmond Mason of the Milwaukee Bucks and Eric Snow of the Philadelphia 76ers.
ALL-TIME NBA J. WALTER KENNEDY CITIZENSHIP AWARD WINNERS
1974-75: Wes Unseld, Washington
1975-76: Slick Watts, Seattle
1976-77: Dave Bing, Washington
1977-78: Bob Lanier, Detroit
1978-79: Calvin Murphy, Houston
1979-80: Austin Carr, Cleveland
1980-81: Mike Glenn, New York
1981-82: Kent Benson, Detroit
1982-83: Julius Erving, Philadelphia
1983-84: Frank Layden, Utah
1984-85: Dan Issel, Denver
1985-86: Michael Cooper, L.A. Lakers; Rory Sparrow, New York
1986-87: Isiah Thomas, Detroit
1987-88: Alex English, Denver
1988-89: Thurl Bailey, Utah
1989-90: Doc Rivers, Atlanta
1990-91: Kevin Johnson, Phoenix
1991-92: Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers
1992-93: Terry Porter, Portland
1993-94: Joe Dumars, Detroit
1994-95: Joe O’Toole, Atlanta
1995-96: Chris Dudley, Portland
1996-97: P.J. Brown, Miami
1997-98: Steve Smith, Atlanta
1998-99: Brian Grant, Portland
1999-2000: Vlade Divac, Sacramento
2000-01: Dikembe Mutombo, Philadelphia
2001-02: Alonzo Mourning, Miami
2002-03: David Robinson, San Antonio
2003-04: Reggie Miller, Indiana