Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam has received the February NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente in recognition of his efforts to empower and inspire youth in both local and global communities. The award recognizes an NBA player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and its players share for giving back to their communities.
Kaiser Permanente and the NBA are honoring Siakam for his efforts to engage youth through the game across Canada and Africa. Siakam visits numerous schools in Toronto and throughout Canada as an ambassador for Right To Play, encouraging students to rise above adversity through sports and education. As a representative for the Sun Life Dunk for Diabetes program, he also inspires children to lead healthy and active lives. Utilizing his fluency in English and French, he has empowered youth in many marginalized communities to overcome obstacles and become leaders.
In August, the Cameroon native played in the NBA Africa Game 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa and visited the 16th edition of Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa, where he mentored campers in oncourt development and life skills training as an alumnus of the program. Throughout the week, Siakam participated in a series of events that left a lasting impact in Johannesburg, including a Habitat for Humanity service project, a training camp for the Jr. NBA World Championship Africa & Middle East teams and a visit to the Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory. In December, he represented Cameroon at the Giants of Africa Gala in Toronto, part of a two-day celebration honoring Nelson Mandela and his vision that sports have the power to inspire and change the world.
“I am excited and honored to receive the Community Assist Award for February. My passion is basketball and I’m so lucky to be able to use this sport to give back to my community,” said Siakam. “Basketball is bigger than just a game. It’s an opportunity to give back to my new home of Toronto as well as Cameroon.”
NBA Canada Managing Director Dan MacKenzie and Toronto Raptors General Manager Bobby Webster presented the award to Siakam during an oncourt ceremony last month. In addition, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will donate $10,000 on Siakam’s behalf to Right To Play.
The NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente honors the standard set by NBA legend David Robinson, who improved the community piece by piece. At the end of the 2018-19 regular season, the Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award winner will be announced at the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia. To learn more, please visit http://www.nba.com/communityassist/.