NEW YORK, July 7, 2021 - The NBA today announced Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker as the winner of the 2020-21 Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente. Booker, who is currently playing in the NBA Finals 2021 presented by YouTube TV, was selected by fans during a 12-day public voting period as well as by an NBA executive panel for his exceptional community outreach in the greater Phoenix area over the past several months.
This season, Booker furthered his commitment to the Phoenix community, donating $500,000 to five Arizona community groups for their respective efforts to improve the lives of local youth and families through his Devin Booker Starting Five Initiative, which has committed a total of $2.5 million over the course of five years - $500,000 annually - to five different youth-serving nonprofits in Arizona. Known as the second Starting Five class, Arizona Autism United, Central Arizona Shelter Services, YMCA of Southern Arizona, GAP Ministries and Elevate Phoenix each received a $100,000 grant from Booker to help address critical funding needs following the pandemic and support their respective efforts to improve the lives of local youth and families. The first class - Special Olympics Arizona, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, UMOM New Day Centers and Ability 360- received their $100,000 grants in late 2019.
Throughout his career in Phoenix, Booker has also provided significant support to youth and families across the Valley through COVID-19 relief, holiday shopping sprees, serving as a guest coach for wheelchair and youth basketball programs and making annual visits to Phoenix Children's Hospital. In 2020, he was named a Special Olympics Global Ambassador, actively promoting inclusion through sport and continuing to participate in events with Special Olympics Arizona. At the 2016 and 2017 NBA Draft Lottery, he selected deserving young athletes to accompany him as his guest.
The Suns and NBA will recognize Booker prior to Game 2 of the NBA Finals 2021 presented by YouTube TV on Thursday, July 8 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC. Additionally, the Devin Booker Starting Five Initiative through Phoenix Suns Charities will receive a $25,000 contribution from the NBA and Kaiser Permanente.
Each month of the regular season, the Community Assist Award recognizes a player who best reflects the passion that the league and NBA players share for supporting their communities. The seasonlong award honors one of the monthly winners' continued commitment to positively impacting his community through sustained efforts. To learn more about the NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente, please visit https://communityassist.nba.com/.