The NBA today announced Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez as the Bob Lanier Community Assist Award winner for the 2022-23 season. Lopez is being recognized for his continued commitment to supporting youth literacy in Milwaukee. Lopez, the recipient of the March NBA Cares Community Assist Award, was named the winner of the season-culminating honor as determined by an NBA executive panel and a 12-day fan voting period on Jebbit. Lopez was selected among a pool of six other monthly Community Assist Award winners and three additional nominees selected by the NBA for their outstanding work in the community.
Since joining the Bucks in 2018, Lopez has made it his mission to make reading both fun and accessible. Throughout the season, Lopez contributed roughly $235,000 for books and funding in support of literacy initiatives within Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Lopez’s efforts are paramount in a state where only 39% percent of eighth-grade students are proficient or above in reading, and more specifically, within Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) where only 15% of fourth- and eighth-grade students are proficient or above in reading. The Bob Lanier Community Assist Award honors one player’s sustained efforts and difference-making work within their community over the course of the season.
As part of Lopez’s “Blocks for Books” program, Lopez donates $500 to Next Door for every block he records during the regular season in support of early childhood literacy. This season, Lopez donated $96,500 to Next Door as part of the program. Additionally, for the second consecutive year, Lopez partnered with Scholastic Book Fair to bring book fairs to five Milwaukee Public Schools. All five schools selected – Allen-Field, Bryant, Hayes Bilingual, Kilbourn and Pratt – are Title 1 schools that have never had a Scholastic Book Fair. Lopez’s contributions allowed each student at all five schools to select and keep five books, totaling close to 10,000 books for more than 2,000 students and roughly $75,000. Lopez also ensured that the schools were set up to receive Scholastic Dollars so they can purchase new books for the school libraries.
“Reading is a personal passion of mine that brings me joy and has played a key role in my success,” said Lopez. “Throughout my career, I have remained committed to supporting youth literacy initiatives because I know firsthand how important this skill is. Whether at home, in the locker room or on the road, reading has always played a significant role in my life. I want to ensure future generations are able to develop this skill too and fall in love with reading just as I have, especially kids in economically disadvantaged schools and communities. To be the recipient of the Bob Lanier Community Assist Award for my efforts in uplifting youth literacy in Milwaukee is truly an honor. Bob Lanier was committed to giving back in the Milwaukee community, so to be able to bring this award back to Milwaukee means so much to me and the Bucks organization.”
Lopez will be recognized as the Bob Lanier Community Assist Award winner during the June 28 broadcast of ESPN’s NBA Today.
The NBA Cares Community Assist Award honors the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson, who improved the community piece by piece. Bob Lanier, a League Office executive and NBA Global Ambassador for more than 30 years, had an enormous influence on the NBA family and young people globally, traveling the world to teach the values of the game and making a positive impact through his kindness and generosity. The legacy he built will continue to live on through the season-long Community Assist Award recognition, which honors the next generation of players’ commitment to positively impacting their community throughout the NBA season. To learn more, please visit https://communityassist.nba.com/.