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Portland Trail Blazers Forward/Center Juwan Howard Receives NBA Cares Community Assist Award for April

04/30/10
  1. Written by: caitlinv

    Portland Trail Blazers forward/center Juwan Howard has been named the recipient of the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for April in recognition of his outstanding efforts in the community and for his ongoing philanthropic and charitable work.

    The NBA is honoring Howard in part for the impact he has left on young students throughout his 16-year NBA career. In his hometown of Chicago, the Juwan Howard Foundation and Chicago Public Schools Literacy Challenge reaches over 30,000 4th-8th grade students annually. The program includes a book reading challenge with a goal of getting parents involved in their children’s reading development and creating lifelong readers. The top 300 student readers are invited to Juwan’s Summer Basketball School, which combines teaching basketball fundamentals with enrichment activities that enable students to “move without the ball” through online book club blogging, life-skills curriculum and sports broadcasting career education.

    “I’m proud to have partnered with Chicago Public Schools,” said Howard. “To be able to provide the resources and technology to motivate, inspire and reward students to excel in education through reading has had a lasting effect on me.”

    Howard’s work with Chicago Public Schools is an extension of the Juwan Howard Foundation, which was established in 1994. The mission of the foundation is to embrace at-risk inner city children. The foundation provides assistance for a better education, expanded recreational opportunities, moral support and encouragement to at-risk children living in inner cities of Washington D.C., Chicago and Michigan.

    His charitable work to support youth in need extends outside the United States. Howard has provided hearing aids to deaf children in Istanbul, Turkey and conducted youth basketball clinics in Johannesburg, South Africa. Last year, Howard joined Dikembe Mutombo on his trip to Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and donated $100,000 to the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center. Howard recently conducted a donation drive “Rebound for Haiti”, successfully collecting and purchasing much-needed supplies to help aid children in Haiti.

    Howard has been an eager volunteer at countless NBA Cares and Read to Achieve events throughout his career, and has served as spokesman for Reading is Fundamental, Athletes with Asthma and the Children’s Defense Fund.

    “Juwan has been a model citizen on and off the court for us this season,” said Trail Blazers President Larry Miller. “The work he’s done in the community throughout his 16-year career is incredible, and sets a great example to the next generation of professional athletes.”

    As the April NBA Cares Community Assist Award recipient, Howard will receive the David Robinson Plaque with the inscription, “Following the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson who improved the community piece by piece.” In addition, a $5,000 donation will be given by the NBA on behalf of Howard to support the Juwan Howard Foundation.

    The league presents the NBA Cares Community Assist Award monthly to recognize players for their charitable efforts. The award honors the NBA player who best reflects the passion that the league and its players have for giving back to their communities.

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