Garnett Wins NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award

The NBA today announced that Minnesota Timberwolves' forward Kevin Garnett is the 2006 recipient of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award presented annually by the Professional Basketball Writers Association. 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.

"I am honored to be a recipient of the prestigious J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award," Garnett said. "I am happy that I can help make a difference in the communities, and blessed to be in the position where I am able to lend support. Hopefully, this will encourage others to do the same. I would like to thank the NBA, Professional Basketball Writers Association and those who nominated me for this award."

As part of his Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, Garnett donated $1.2 million to Oprah's Angel Network to build 24 homes, one house per month for the next two years. He also participated in Kenny Smith's NBA Players Hurricane Relief Game in Houston, in which each player donated a minimum of $10,000 in money and supplies. He has also developed an on-going partnership with the Minneapolis Urban League to assist hurricane survivors in Minnesota and has hosted affected families in his Target Center suite.

Through his 4XL Foundation, Garnett has opened technology centers in two local Minneapolis high schools, featuring state-of-the-art computers, in an effort to make technology available to all students.

In November, Garnett participated in the Wolves GiveThanks event, serving Thanksgiving dinner and participating in activities with family members of military personnel currently overseas. During the Wolves Season of Giving in December, Garnett went shopping with 10 foster children from the Minnesota Adoption Resource Network and helped them pick out holiday gifts. Garnett visited sick children at the Ronald McDonald House of the Twin Cities as part of WolvesCare Month in January.

The nine-time All-Star received the NBA Community Assist Award for the month of November, in recognition of his community outreach efforts and on-going generosity.

"The PBWA is pleased to present Kevin Garnett with the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship award for 2006," said Steve Aschburner, president of the PBWA. "From having covered Garnett's career since he entered the league in 1995-96, I knew that he was heavily involved in charitable works, many of which stay 'below the radar.' But his donation to the Hurricane Katrina Relief effort was impossible to overlook, and set a standard for giving among NBA players. Also, I have seen the impact of Kevin's 4XL Foundation on Twin Cities schools in the computer labs he has opened."

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 Garnett, Ron Artestof the Sacramento Kings, Chauncey Billups of the Detroit Pistons, Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns and Michael Redd of the Milwaukee Bucks.