NBA and Kaiser Permanente to Donate $10,000 to Special Olympics Arizona
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker has received the May NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente in recognition of his continued commitment to support youth and families throughout the greater Phoenix area, the NBA today announced.
Each month, the award recognizes a player who best reflects the passion that the league and NBA players share for giving back to their communities.
In May, Booker surprised five local nonprofit organizations at a Suns home game where he announced via an in-game, pre-recorded address that they were the 2020-21 class of the Devin Booker Starting Five initiative.
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.
To further celebrate and benefit the 2020-21 class, Booker and Phoenix Suns Charities created a limited-edition Devin Booker Starting Five hoodie commemorating the selected nonprofits. Designed by Booker, the first-of-their-kind hoodies were available for purchase for a limited time with all proceeds benefiting Phoenix Suns Charities.
The @DevinBook Starting 5 hoodie is available in the team shop today!
All proceeds benefit Suns Charities! pic.twitter.com/9hVpnqGzMC
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) May 23, 2021
The five organizations are the second class of the Devin Booker Starting Five, which donates $500,000 annually to five different youth-serving nonprofits in Arizona, a total of $2.5 million over the course of five years.
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.
In addition to his Starting Five initiative, Booker has provided significant support to youth and families across the Valley through COVID-19 relief and holiday shopping sprees. He is also a Special Olympics Global Ambassador, actively promoting inclusion through sport.
An unforgettable moment.
Amy from Special Olympics Arizona is this week's #MustSeeMoments champion!
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 6, 2019
“From the beginning of my career, it has been important for me to be involved with the Suns organization and the community in Phoenix,” said Booker. “All five of these organizations better the lives of the youth by giving them opportunities they need to succeed. I want to thank the organizations for allowing me the opportunity to help advance all of the work they’re doing in our community.”
In honor of Booker’s efforts, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will donate $10,000 on his behalf to Special Olympics of Arizona to support the basketball team representing Arizona at the 2022 USA Games.
To learn more about the NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente, please visit http://www.nba.com/