Cavs guard Ricky Rubio receives Offseason NBA Cares Community Assist Award
Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio on Thursday was named the recipient of the Offseason NBA Cares Community Assist Award. Rubio will be recognized for the award during Thursday night's game.
The award is given out in recognition for a player's impactful work in the community during the offseason. Rubio was presented with the Offseason NBA Cares Community Assist Award for his "continued efforts to improve the loves of children and families, particularly those impacted by cancer."
“I’m honored to receive the NBA Cares Offseason Community Assist award,” Rubio said in a statement. “There are a lot of NBA players making a difference in their communities and I’m fortunate to be chosen. Since I started playing basketball, I have always thought about how to leverage sports and community. I tossed around the idea of starting a foundation until the decision to act became more personal and clear: my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in the summer of 2012 and in one of my last conversations with her, I promised that I would do everything in my power to help others.”
Rubio has been committed to providing resources for "improving the hospital experience" of cancer patients and their families in his native Spain and the United States through the Ricky Rubio Foundation. A virtual program titled "I am Ready" was also launched in April to ease these experiences for pediatric cancer patients undergoing radiation treatments. The program will be delivered to 1,000 youth patients in the U.S. and features Rubio guiding the children on what to expect in an effort to reduce their fear and anxiety with the experience.
Rubio in September also announced the construction of a new therapeutic rehabilitation area at Vall d'Hebron Hospital in Barcelona that increased the capacity of patients able to be treated by nearly 40 percent. The Ricky Rubio Foundation also funded a week-long stay for a family navigating cancer at Dreams Village, which aims to have a positive impact on a patient's recovery.
In May of this year, Rubio continued his #OneMonthOneCause campaign, a program that showcases and provides contributions to local non-profits. Rubio also launched the Community Team of Masnou in Spain, which uses the game of basketball to teach life lessons to young people.
Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman will present the award to Rubio during an on-court ceremony Thursday night. Kaiser Permanente, the sponsor for the award, and the NBA will also donate $10,000 on Rubio's behalf to his foundation.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more about the Cavs at www.beaconjournal.com/cavs. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.