The Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard may be just a rookie, but he’s already captured a Hall of Fame-worthy league award.
Lillard, who’s a lock for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award, was named the recipient of the league’s Kia Community Assist Award for the month of March. The honor goes to players who exhibit prowess in terms of community work, ongoing advocacy and charitable efforts.
Lillard espoused an anti-bullying message with his “Respect, Pass It On” campaign that launched March 4. He teamed with Les Schwab and Adidas on the anti-bullying campaign, which has attracted more than 5,000 pledges to date.
The point guard encourages people to take a stand against bullying and pledge respect to others. The campaign has resulted in more than 5,000 pledges to date.
“It’s an honor to receive this award and I hope that it will bring even more attention to the Respect campaign,” Lillard said in a release. “I’ve seen too many of the negative effects that bullying has on people, especially kids. Now that I’ve learned how many people look up to us as NBA players, I want to make the most of it by getting behind positive initiatives like anti-bullying.”
Lillard is the fourth NBA rookie to receive the award since it was introduced in 2001. He’s also the first to win it since Al Horford won it in 2008.
Wesley Matthews was the last Blazer to capture the honors, doing so in February 2012.
Lillard will receive the honor before tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kia also said the company and the league will donate $10,000 on Lillard’s behalf to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. The money will be split evenly between the Portland and Oakland affiliates. Oakland is Lillard’s hometown.
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