Bahamian Professional Athletes Aid Hurricane Dorian Relief Efforts

Bahamian Professional Athletes Aid Hurricane Dorian Relief Efforts

Buddy Hield, shooting guard for the Sacramento Kings, is dedicating himself to a critical endeavor this offseason: relief efforts for Hurricane Dorian. A native of the Bahamas where Dorian hit the hardest, Hield has a deeply personal stake in providing aid…

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Kawhi Leonard Helps Donate 1 Million Backpacks to California School Districts

Kawhi Leonard Helps Donate 1 Million Backpacks to California School Districts

Kawhi Leonard made countless headlines this summer, both for helping the Toronto Raptors win their first NBA Championship and for his subsequent trade to the Los Angeles Clippers. However, another recent story deserves just as much attention… 

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Josh Norman and Demario Davis Team Up on Human Rights Work

Josh Norman and Demario Davis Team Up on Human Rights Work

Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman and New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis continue to join forces to create social change in communities across the U.S. Both members of the Players Coalition, a social justice advocacy organization established by several NFL players in 2017, Norman and Davis have been spearheading philanthropic initiatives focused on immigration, criminal justice reform, clean water and more…

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Stephen Curry Helping to Relaunch Howard University’s Golf Program

Stephen Curry Helping to Relaunch Howard University’s Golf Program

NBA superstar Stephen Curry is making one of his favorite sports outside basketball more accessible to students of color. On August 19, Curry pledged a seven-figure donation to relaunch Howard University’s dormant golf program for both men and women, providing the opportunity for black golfers to play the sport competitively at the Division I level...

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Jason Wright Co-Authors Report on Racial Wealth Inequality

Jason Wright Co-Authors Report on Racial Wealth Inequality

Retiring from the NFL in 2011 after a seven-year career, former running back Jason Wright is continuing his work to address the racial wealth gap in America. On August 13, global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company published a report co-authored by Wright — who is a partner at the firm — that assesses the main sources of socioeconomic inequality and ways to close the gap… 

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Allyson Felix Plays Key Role in Change to Nike's Maternity Policy for Sponsored Athletes

Allyson Felix Plays Key Role in Change to Nike's Maternity Policy for Sponsored Athletes

After pressure from Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix, Nike recently announced a change to its maternity policy that will provide financial protections for pregnant athletes and new mothers sponsored by the company. The announcement comes just a month after Felix ended her seven-year relationship with Nike to sign with Athleta — the first athlete to be sponsored by the women's athletic wear company…

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Marcus and Markieff Morris Host Fifth Annual Backpack Giveaway in North Philadelphia

Marcus and Markieff Morris Host Fifth Annual Backpack Giveaway in North Philadelphia

On August 10, Marcus and Markieff Morris and their Family Over Everything Foundation hosted their 5th Annual Backpack Giveaway at Hunting Park Recreation Center in North Philadelphia, a place where the brothers spent much of their time as youth… 

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Phaidra Knight Uses Rugby to Help Transform Lives of Incarcerated Youth

Phaidra Knight Uses Rugby to Help Transform Lives of Incarcerated Youth

Retired international athlete Phaidra Knight achieved much success as a professional rugby player throughout her 20-year career. Now, the 2017 World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee is leveraging the sport as a vehicle for social transformation for youth… 

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Yasiel Puig Returns to California to Break Ground on Youth Community Center

Yasiel Puig Returns to California to Break Ground on Youth Community Center

Bouncing from the L.A. Dodgers to the Cincinnati Reds and now to the Cleveland Indians, all in the span of seven months, MLB right fielder Yasiel Puig is still managing to make time for his off-the-field priorities, namely his philanthropic work. Despite relocating across country, Puig has stayed committed to giving back to the place he called home for seven years… 

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Anthony Lynn Helps Build School for Rural Children in Tanzania

Anthony Lynn Helps Build School for Rural Children in Tanzania

This past July, Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn spent eight days of his NFL offseason in the rural Maasai region of Tanzania making quality education a reality for children in the region. Through their recently established Lynn Family Foundation, Lynn and his wife, NBC New York news anchor Stacey Bell Lynn, helped establish a new school for approximately 300 children grades K-3…

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Jaylen Brown Strives to Reform Education in America as MIT Media Lab Fellow

Jaylen Brown Strives to Reform Education in America as MIT Media Lab Fellow

Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown is much more than an athlete. He is a social change advocate striving to reform education in America. This past June, MIT Media Lab selected the 22-year-old former California Golden Bears standout to be one of its 2019 Director's Fellows, along with other innovators who will bring their unique insights, perspectives and ideas to address society’s biggest challenges… 

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Derrick Morgan Dedicates Post-NFL Career to Investing in Underserved Communities

Derrick Morgan Dedicates Post-NFL Career to Investing in Underserved Communities

Announcing his retirement from the NFL earlier this month, former Tennessee Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan is now putting his energy into tackling economic inequality. Morgan is already moving full speed ahead with his next full-time endeavor — impact investing and empowering underserved communities across the country…

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Kyle Korver Shares Perspectives on Racism and White Privilege

Kyle Korver Shares Perspectives on Racism and White Privilege

Now that we are well past the NBA Finals, having crowned the Toronto Raptors champions, welcomed a new NBA rookie crop through the NBA Draft, and come out the other end of one of the most intense off-seasons in the history of the NBA, it seems a good time to ask: What was the biggest moment of this past NBA season and off-season? …

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Ray Lewis’ Power52 Foundation Prepares Individuals for Careers in Maryland’s Solar Industry

Ray Lewis’ Power52 Foundation Prepares Individuals for Careers in Maryland’s Solar Industry

NFL legend Ray Lewis, Baltimore-based solar developer Cherie Brooks and real estate executive Rob Wallace are on a mission to expand opportunity in the solar business for underserved individuals. Desiring to break the cycle of poverty, unemployment, under-employment and incarceration in Baltimore and other cities across the country, Lewis, Brooks and Wallace formed the Power52 Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides training for success in the clean energy industry… 

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Chris Long Earns ESPN Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award

Chris Long Earns ESPN Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award

On July 9, recently retired NFL player Chris Long received ESPN’s 2019 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award on the eve of the ESPYs at L.A. Live in Los Angeles. Long earned the award for "his commitment to giving back through strategic, multifaceted efforts," joining the ranks of past winners including Kevin Durant (2018) and Tamika Catchings (2015)…

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Brandon Chubb Empowers Youth Entrepreneurs with Help of Harvard Business School

Brandon Chubb Empowers Youth Entrepreneurs with Help of Harvard Business School

Carolina Panthers linebacker Brandon Chubb has an impressive new achievement to add to his resume — but it was nothing to do with football. Recently, Chubb graduated from Harvard Business School’s Crossover Into Business program, launched in 2017 in partnership with the NBA. The program aims to equip professional athletes with business skills to help them effectively navigate and advance their careers in sports and beyond…

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Malcolm Jenkins Hosts Annual Young Dragons STEAM Camp

Malcolm Jenkins Hosts Annual Young Dragons STEAM Camp

On June 17, The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation kicked off its fourth annual Young Dragons Summer STEAM program, a free six-week summer camp offered to middle school students in West Philadelphia. In partnership with Drexel University’s ExCITe Center, the program offers innovative STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts/Athletics, and Mathematics) activities developed specifically for students ages 10-14 years old…

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DeMarre Carroll Hosts Second Annual All-Girls Basketball Clinic in New York City

DeMarre Carroll Hosts Second Annual All-Girls Basketball Clinic in New York City

On June 22, NBA veteran DeMarre Carroll and the Carroll Family Foundation (CFF) held their second annual All-Girls Basketball Clinic at Basketball City in Manhattan for girls ranging in age from 7-18. During the clinic, Carroll — previously a forward with the Brooklyn Nets until signing this week with the San Antonio Spurs — led the girls in defensive drills and motivated them to continue working hard toward their goals…

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Champions for Philanthropy Hosts Awards Ceremony on Eve of NBA Draft

Photo: Champions for Philanthropy

Photo: Champions for Philanthropy


The 2019 Most Valuable Philanthropist (MVP) Basketball Awards provided guests with a night to remember. Held at the stunning Glasshouse Chelsea in New York City on the eve of the 2019 NBA Draft, the event kicked off with a special VIP reception where guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvre and cocktails while mingling in an intimate setting with honored guests, including:

  • Derek Anderson - 2019 Most Valuable Philanthropist

  • Bam Adebayo - 2019 Rising Star

  • Dave Sanderson - 2019 Courage Award

  • Sarah Kustok - NBA Analyst and Host of the 2019 MVP Basketball Awards

Additionally, VIP guests got an early viewing of the event's silent auction items, which ranged from an autographed poster of Mike Tyson from the infamous “Punch-Out!!” NES video game to trips to resorts in Bali and Costa Rica.

Following the VIP reception and arrival of the remaining guests, Alycia Powell and Michelle Mays, co-founders of Champions for Philanthropy (CFP), took the stage to begin the awards ceremony. First up, they honored 2019 Courage Award winner Dave Sanderson, who was the last person to disembark the infamous “Miracle on the Hudson” plane in 2009. Sanderson captivated guests as he described his reasons for waiting to leave the plane after the crash, stating, “the right thing for me is always to take care of other people first.”

Next, 2019 Rising Star Bam Adebayo and 2019 Most Valuable Philanthropist Derek Anderson joined NBA analyst Sarah Kustok for a conversation about their motivations and insights around philanthropy. Anderson emotionally described how his parents' abandoning him as a child led him down the path of giving back. He specifically noted that “common courtesy, people skills, and life training” helped him survive his youth, and he urged that these three principles return to our school systems.

Adebayo, who is 23 years younger than Anderson, showcased his colorful personality and kept the crowd entertained, humorously admitting his lack of life experience in comparison to Anderson. However, Adebayo turned solemn when describing his difficult upbringing by his single mother and his desire to impact the lives of children who face similar circumstances, stating, “I do the work I do for the kids, and it brings joy into my heart.”

Following the MVP Basketball Awards, Champions for Philanthropy participated in the Elevated Draft Reception, which featured conversations about wealth, philanthropy and social impact planning. Panelists from Alliance Bernstein and CFP, along with basketball legend Tom Hoover and Chicago Bulls player Wendell Carter Jr., spoke to draft prospects and their families about building a legacy through philanthropy. Mr. and Mrs. Carter also delivered a lively keynote about their experience as NBA parents.

Learn more about the 2019 MVP Basketball Awards.