NEW YORK, Sept. 9 -- In recognition of Gilbert Arenas’ community outreach efforts and ongoing generosity during the Summer of Goodwill, the NBA announced today it will honor the Washington Wizards guard with the Community Assist Award for August. When the Hurricane Katrina disaster struck, Arenas stepped up, hand-delivering $18,000 worth of provisions that he purchased to the D.C. Armory, which will serve as an emergency shelter for the victims of the Hurricane. He also met with hurricane survivors who arrived in D.C. shortly afterward.


Arenas
Arenas has taken a proactive approach to working in the community this summer by hosting a Washington Sports and Entertainment Staff School Supply Drive in which he asked the Wizards staff to bring in school supplies to donate to underprivileged D.C.-area kids.

Arenas has also become a mentor to 10-year-old Andre McAllister who lost his family in a house fire last December. This summer, Arenas treated McAllister to Mystics games, back-to-school shopping spree and spent time playing video games, going to movies and playing basketball with him. He also sponsored Andre through several basketball camps this summer and participated in various charity weekend projects for his college coach Lute Olsen (benefiting University of Arizona charities), Terrell Owens, Magic Johnson and BET personality Big Tigger.

Known for giving away his game-worn jersey to a fan after both home and away games during the season, Arenas is committed to improving the lives of children by helping to protect them from abuse and neglect. His new effort, the Zer0 2 Hero Foundation, will help promote the safety and well being of children by raising funds to support organizations that aid in the preservation of families through foster care, adoption and child welfare services.

Every December, Arenas hosts “Gilbert’s Christmas Dream” in which he treats 300 underprivileged D.C.-area kids to a movie and provides presents for each child. Arenas plans, finances and executes the entire community outreach program. This December will mark the third straight year that Arenas will host the event.

“It’s all about giving back. These kids are our biggest fans. They support us on the court so I feel it’s my job to support them off the court,” said Arenas.

Arenas joins Vince Carter of the New Jersey Nets (August), Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors (June), Jerome Williams of the New York Knicks (May), and Derek Fisher of the Golden State Warriors (April) as recent winners of the NBA’s Community Assist Award.

As the recipient of the NBA Community Assist Award, Arenas 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.” During the 2002-03 season, NBA Commissioner David Stern presented the former San Antonio Spurs star with an honorary plaque and announced that all future winners of the NBA Community Assist Award would receive the David Robinson Plaque. In addition to the plaque, a $5,000 gift will be given to the Washington Sports & Entertainment Charities; from there Arenas will assist families in the Washington metropolitan area who have adopted misplaced families from Hurricane Katrina.

The league gives out the NBA Community Assist Award monthly 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.