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.

Bam Adebayo Plays Active Role in His New Miami Community

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Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo is quickly making a name for himself in the NBA. Born Edrice Femi Adebayo, the 2016 McDonald’s All-American earned his nickname as a toddler when his mother began calling him Bam after he flipped over a table while watching the Flintstones. The name has not only become relevant to his powerful presence on the basketball court but also to the social impact he is already making in his NBA team city.

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