The NBA today announced Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso as the NBA Cares Community Assist Award winner for the month of January in recognition of his effort to address food insecurity, provide essential items for those in need and create memorable experiences for youth in his community. Each month of the regular season, the award recognizes a player who best demonstrates the passion that the league and NBA players share for giving back to their communities.
Caruso focuses much of his community engagement around helping others gain access to basic life essentials, including providing high-quality fresh food for families in Chicago, providing those in need with clothing and hosting memorable experiences for youth. During the month of January, Caruso helped deliver meals to families and personally donated $10,000 to Dion's Chicago Dream – a local non-profit dedicated to creating financial, physical and emotional stability for residents of Chicago by helping fight food insecurity in the city. The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) also matched Caruso’s donation, yielding a $20,000 contribution in total to the non-profit. As a result of the donation, 20 households are now completely food secure for all of 2023.
Also in January, Caruso hosted local Chicago youth and families from Mikva Challenge’s Neighborhood Leadership Initiative (NLI) during the Bulls’ home game against the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 23. Youth from NLI and their families enjoyed the game in a complimentary suite where they received Bulls apparel. As part of his support to NLI, Caruso donated coats and clothes to 500 migrants, youth and families in need across three neighborhoods that the program services. Additionally, Caruso who is an avid golf fan and plays regularly, hosted a golf party for high school golf teams from four Chicago public high schools. The teams joined Caruso at Five Iron Golf for a private indoor golf event where they had dinner and competed with and against him in various contests. He also gifted the teams with custom Bulls golf merchandise and signed memorabilia for students.
In addition to his contributions locally, Caruso also participated in a Her Time to Play youth hoops clinic while in Paris for the NBA Paris Game 2023. Alongside some of his Bulls’ teammates, Caruso taught basketball skills and participated in drills with 40 youth from Paris Basket 18 – a club created to provide girls the opportunity to practice and play basketball focused on empowering girls in sports.
“It’s special to win the Community Assist award because I’ve always been a person that said if I ever had a chance to give back, I was going to do it,” said Caruso. “We have a lot of privilege and a lot of responsibility to hold ourselves to a high standard and help people that are in need. That’s just the way I was raised, and I think that’s something really cool that I’m able to do now."
Caruso will be recognized during an on-court ceremony before the Bulls’ home contest against the Phoenix Suns on Friday, Mar. 3 at 8 p.m. ET. Chicago Bulls Vice President of Community Engagement and Executive Director of Chicago Bulls Charities Adrienne Scherenzel-Curry will present him with the award. The NBA will donate $10,000 to Dion’s Chicago Dream.
The NBA Cares Community Assist Award honors the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson, who improved the community piece by piece. To learn more, please visit https://communityassist.nba.com/
About NBA Cares
NBA Cares is the league's global social responsibility program that builds on the NBA's mission of addressing important social issues. NBA Cares programs and participants have provided more than 6.2 million hours of hands-on service and created more than 2,040 places where kids and families can live, learn or play in communities around the world. Internationally, NBA Cares has created more than 375 places where kids and families can live, learn or play in 40 countries and territories. NBA Cares works with nationally and internationally recognized youth-serving programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes, including: Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Vera Institute of Justice, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, UNICEF, Special Olympics, The Jed Foundation, Share Our Strength and GLSEN.