Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors has won the 2022-23 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, as administered and selected by the Professional Basketball Writers Association (PBWA). Named after the NBA’s second commissioner, the honor is presented annually by the PBWA to a player, coach or athletic trainer who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community.
Curry, a four-time NBA champion and two-time MVP, was one of four finalists for the 2022-23 award, along with Los Angeles Lakers center Wenyen Gabriel, LA Clippers forward Paul George and Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams.
The finalists were chosen by a committee of PBWA members from nominees submitted by NBA teams. The winner was determined by a vote of the entire PBWA, which is composed of more than 200 writers and editors who cover the NBA regularly for newspapers, magazines and online news outlets.
“Few athletes have as great a reach or as powerful a platform as Steph Curry, and he has used it to the fullest to benefit others,” said PBWA President Howard Beck. “The members of the Professional Basketball Writers Association salute him and the other nominees for their exemplary work.”
A 14-year veteran and member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, Curry is being honored for his work promoting youth literacy, fitness and nutrition, as well as his commitment to fostering gender equity in sports.
The Stephen & Ayesha Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation has helped thousands of children in Oakland, Calif., building playgrounds across the city, promoting literacy and distributing meals and produce. The foundation hosted more than 1,000 children from various community organizations at an Oakland Athletics game last summer, in an event that promoted movement, exercise and literacy. In December, the foundation hosted more than 500 Oakland families as part of the 10th annual Christmas with the Currys. The foundation, which provides weekly meals throughout the city, also recently unveiled a new schoolyard at Global Family Elementary.
While visiting the White House to celebrate the Warriors’ 2022 championship, Curry used his platform to speak on the importance of equality in sports, another cause that he has championed both individually and through his corporate partnerships. The Underrated Tour, a collaboration between Curry and Under Armour, provides a showcase for high school golfers from traditionally overlooked communities.
Curry always makes time for fans and community groups over the course of the season. In March, he met in Oklahoma City with the Wichita West girls basketball team – which had to forfeit its season due to lack of players yet continued to practice every day – to call attention to and honor its persistence in the face of adversity.
Curry, 35, averaged 29.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists in 56 games this season, making both the All-Star Game and the All-NBA Team for the ninth time.
J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award Winners
|1974-75 – Wes Unseld, Washington|
1975-76 – Slick Watts, Seattle
1976-77 – Dave Bing, Washington
1977-78 – Bob Lanier, Detroit
1978-79 – Calvin Murphy, Houston
1979-80 – Austin Carr, Cleveland
1980-81 – Mike Glenn, New York
1981-82 – Kent Benson, Detroit
1982-83 – Julius Erving, Philadelphia
1983-84 – Frank Layden, Utah
1984-85 – Dan Issel, Denver
1985-86 – Michael Cooper, L.A. Lakers (tie)
Rory Sparrow, New York (tie)
1986-87 – Isiah Thomas, Detroit
1987-88 – Alex English, Denver
1988-89 – Thurl Bailey, Utah
1989-90 – Doc Rivers, Atlanta
|1990-91 – Kevin Johnson, Phoenix|
1991-92 – Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers
1992-93 – Terry Porter, Portland
1993-94 – Joe Dumars, Detroit
1994-95 – Joe O’Toole, Atlanta
1995-96 – Chris Dudley, Portland
1996-97 – P.J. Brown, Miami
1997-98 – Steve Smith, Atlanta
1998-99 – Brian Grant, Portland
1999-00 – Vlade Divac, Sacramento
2000-01 – Dikembe Mutombo, Philadelphia
2001-02 – Alonzo Mourning, Miami
2002-03 – David Robinson, San Antonio
2003-04 – Reggie Miller, Indiana
2004-05 – Eric Snow, Cleveland
2005-06 – Kevin Garnett, Minnesota
2006-07 – Steve Nash, Phoenix
|2007-08 – Chauncey Billups, Detroit|
2008-09 – Dikembe Mutombo, Houston
2009-10 – Samuel Dalembert, Philadelphia
2010-11 – Metta Sandiford-Artest, L.A. Lakers
2011-12 – Pau Gasol, L.A. Lakers
2012-13 – Kenneth Faried, Denver
2013-14 – Luol Deng, Cleveland
2014-15 – Joakim Noah, Chicago
2015-16 – Wayne Ellington, Brooklyn
2016-17 – LeBron James, Cleveland
2017-18 – J.J. Barea, Dallas
2018-19 – Damian Lillard, Portland
2019-20 – Malcolm Brogdon, Indiana
2020-21 – N/A (pandemic)
2021-22 – N/A (pandemic)
2022-23 – Stephen Curry, Golden State