Image Credit: Getty Images
Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud continues to use her WNBA platform to champion others.
Today, the WNBA rewarded Cloud for her selflessness and awarded her with the Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award for outstanding efforts in the community throughout the 2018 season and most recent offseason.
The award, which is named in honor of WNBA legend and Hall of Famer Dawn Staley, annually recognizes a player who reflects Staley’s spirit, leadership, charitable efforts, love for the game and inspirational presence in the community.
“Natasha has been an outstanding example of how players value their time spent connecting with the community,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “Natasha’s commitment to volunteering is exemplary of how socially conscious WNBA players are and how they continue to excel as role models for the next generation.”
Back in June she made headlines by threatening a “media blackout “until Mayor Muriel E. Bowser and a D.C. Council member adequately responded to several episodes of gun violence at Southeast elementary school.
The Sports World Should Be Paying Attention To WNBA’s Natasha Cloud’s Media Blackout : The Shadow League https://t.co/VKCse1DhK1
— Secret Sauce (@FANalyst1) June 17, 2019
Cloud’s primary focus is working with children, as displayed through her active involvement with youth clinics and education of children on the importance of fitness while promoting participation in youth sports.
In July 2018, Cloud and Monumental Sports and Entertainment (MSE) celebrated “Christmas in July” with underprivileged families at a local Walmart. Cloud assisted with shopping for school supplies, school uniforms, and other educational toys that the families could not afford.
In November, Cloud participated in a KaBoom! Playground Build at the Bright Beginnings Center in Southeast D.C., where she helped build a new playground for children from Ward 8, home of the new Entertainment and Sports arena where the Mystics are playing in 2019.
A designated committee selected Cloud as the winner of the Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award from a group of nominated WNBA players. The WNBA will make a $10,000 donation to the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation on Cloud’s behalf.
“Natasha’s participation in a myriad of activities that have benefited adults and children in her local community is demonstrative of her commitment to being a servant leader,” said Staley, Head Coach of the University of South Carolina Women’s Basketball team and the USA Basketball Women’s National Team. “Her selfless attitude and dedication to delivering Christmas to underserved families in D.C. is the epitome of what this award represents.”
Cloud continues to organize her life around pro basketball and service to the community, constantly participating in Holiday events, meeting with families of children with disabilities and trying to improve the plight of underserved families by working with politicians in the D.C. area.
“We need faces in the community. We let the community know we are here,” said Cloud. “We let them know we want them to support us as much as we want to support them. For me, it was really important to get out to Congress Heights, a predominantly minority community. It’s important for me as a strong black female athlete to show my face and give young females an aspiration and gateway to something bigger.”