Nominate an Outstanding High School Basketball Coach for the 15th Annual “Spirit of Cotton Award”

Spirit of Cotton

Phoenix Suns Charities is now accepting nominations for the 15th annual “Spirit of Cotton Award,” a recognition that honors legendary former Suns head coach Cotton Fitzsimmons by highlighting an outstanding Arizona high school basketball coach for their leadership, dedication and service to the community in helping guide and mentor student-athletes.  The winning coach will receive a $10,000 grant for use in their high school’s athletic program.

Now through Feb. 14, fans are encouraged to visit to nominate a deserving Arizona high school basketball coach for the prestigious honor. In addition to receiving the $10,000 grant, the winner will also be recognized during a special on-court ceremony alongside JoAnn Fitzsimmons, wife of Cotton Fitzsimmons, when the Suns host the Los Angeles Lakers on April 15 at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Fitzsimmons, who passed away in July 2004, left an indelible mark on the Phoenix Suns and remains one of the most influential and well-respected figures in the history of the franchise. A video illustrating his admirable leadership and affability can be downloaded here.

During an NBA coaching career that spanned two decades and included three different stints with the Suns, Fitzsimmons won 832 games with five different franchises and was twice honored as the NBA Coach of the Year (1979 with Kansas City, 1989 with the Suns). In 1989, he famously transformed the Suns from a 28-win non-playoff team the year prior into a 55-win team that advanced to the Western Conference Finals.  On March 18, 2005, Cotton was posthumously inducted as the 11th member of the Suns Ring of Honor.

Since its inception in 1988, Phoenix Suns Charities has been focused on making our community a better place through its mission of supporting children and family services throughout Arizona and has distributed more than $32 million to local non-profits and organizations in need. The entire Suns organization has embedded itself locally by supporting community efforts through hundreds of player appearances and thousands of volunteer hours by Suns players and staff.


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