BOSTON, March 26 -- The Fannie Mae Foundation and the NBA today announced Paul Pierce as the winner of the 2002 Home Team Community Service Award based on Pierce’s volunteer activities, community service, and impact in the Boston area. Former Celtics great, NBA Hall of Famer and current NBA Community Relations Ambassador, Nate "Tiny" Archibald will present Paul with the award tomorrow prior to the Celtics-Warriors game at the Fleet Center.

Paul Pierce, here reading with students at Fuller Elementary, is the winner of the 2002 Home Team Community Service Award.
Celtics Photo
The Home Team Program is a partnership between NBA teams and the Fannie Mae Foundation to help rehabilitate neighborhoods in inner cities across the country and provide home-buying information to help more Americans achieve the dream of home ownership.

NBA team and league officials nominated nine finalists based on players’ community service and resulting impact on the community. Pierce, who earlier this season was selected to his first NBA All-Star Game, was chosen as the winner by a panel of judges from the league and the Fannie Mae Foundation. He will receive a $50,000 grant -- $25,000 from the Foundation and $25,000 from the NBA -- to donate to the charity of his choice.

"This is a great honor for me to receive the Home Team Community Service Award from the Fannie Mae Foundation and the NBA," said Pierce. "As an NBA player, I have a unique opportunity to give back and make a difference in my community. So many players are actively involved in their community that to be singled out for recognition is very special."

Since entering the league four years ago, Pierce has been involved in various community programs and has shown the city of Boston the difference one man can make. Pierce’s Playground, Paul Pierce Turkey Giveaway, Paul Pierce Celebrity Softball Challenge and the Paul Pierce Summer Basketball Camps are only a few of the programs that Paul has spearheaded over the past year. Pierce is also a national spokesman for the NBA’s “Read to Achieve” program which promotes the importance of reading and education to children and their families.

The Boston Celtics "Rock with the Jocks" fundraiser, which benefits the Home Team program, is another event in which he interacts and has fun with local fans invited to enjoy the evening playing pool with Celtics players. In addition, Pierce is scheduled to participate in the Boston Home Team workday on March 28.

"The Fannie Mae Foundation created the ‘Home Team Community Service Award’ in an effort to highlight the outstanding work and commitment of NBA players like Paul Pierce," said Stacey H. Davis, President and CEO of the Fannie Mae Foundation. "I understand there’s an adage in basketball that great players make others better. Paul’s work in the community has made life better for a lot of people."

"Paul Pierce demonstrates the commitment to excellence that the entire NBA family shares both on-the-court and in the community," said Nate Archibald, NBA Community Relations Ambassador. "The Fannie Mae Foundation and the NBA joined together to improve our neighborhoods, and this award showcases the hard work Paul and the other nominees have contributed to their communities across the country. We're proud of all of them for what they have done."

Since the beginning of the Home Team program in 1993, the Foundation and NBA partner teams have helped refurbish or construct nearly 900 homes in the Home Team cities across the country. The total amount contributed to the Home Team's revitalization efforts through the end of the 2001-02 NBA season will be more than $9.3 million.

Finalists for the 2002 award include:

Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Atlanta Hawks
David Wesley, Charlotte Hornets
Jerry Stackhouse, Detroit Pistons
Charlie Ward, New York Knicks
Chris Dudley, Portland Trail Blazers
Terry Porter, San Antonio Spurs
Desmond Mason, Seattle SuperSonics
Jahidi White, Washington Wizards

About the Fannie Mae Foundation
The Fannie Mae Foundation creates affordable homeownership and housing opportunities through innovative partnerships and initiatives that build healthy, vibrant communities across the United States. The Foundation is especially committed to improving the quality of life for the people of its hometown, Washington, D.C., and to enhancing the livability of the city's neighborhoods. The Foundation, a private nonprofit organization supported solely by Fannie Mae, has regional offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Pasadena and Philadelphia.

About the NBA
With 29 teams in the United States and Canada, NBA games and related programming are broadcast to 210 countries in 42 languages. The NBA is one of the most popular and profitable sports or entertainment properties in the licensing world with NBA league and team products in stores across the globe, on the NBA Store on NBA.com, the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, and NBA City in Orlando. The NBA maintains 17 marketing partnerships with the most successful companies in their categories, seven of which are global partnerships. For more information on the NBA, visit www.nba.com.