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Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook received the October NBA Cares Community Assist Award in recognition of his charitable efforts to improve child literacy, the NBA announced today. The award honors an NBA player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and its players have for giving back to their communities.
In both Oklahoma City and his hometown Los Angeles, Westbrook continues his work to enhance literacy programs. Last month, Westbrook and the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation opened a new reading center at North Highland Elementary in Oklahoma City. The facility, named Russell’s Reading Room, was stocked with 1,200 books for all ages, designed to ensure every student is inspired to find something they love to read. In addition, 450 students at North Highland received a book of their own to take home.
Westbrook formed his foundation in 2012 with the goal of inspiring the lives of children, empowering them to ask “why not?” when faced with rejection and adversity. The foundation works to help children facing hardships of any kind, giving particular support to community-based education and family service programs. Westbrook plans to open two additional reading centers in the coming months as his foundation increases its focus on literacy.
“I have been very blessed in my life and believe it is my job to give back to the communities that have given me so much,” said Westbrook. “I want to provide kids with the guidance and tools to find success, and that starts with literacy and education. By improving access to books and encouraging children to read, we can help them thrive throughout their educational careers.”
During Sunday’s home game against the Houston Rockets, Westbrook will be presented with the David Robinson Plaque during an oncourt ceremony. In addition, the NBA will donate $10,000 on Westbrook’s behalf to the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation.
In addition to the monthly NBA Cares Community Assist Awards, the league will present a final 2014-15 Seasonlong Community Assist Award.
To learn more, please log on to http://www.nba.com/cares/.