Draft Lottery Basketball

Oklahoma Thunder’s Russell Westbrook, left, holds up a plaque awarded to him by NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum as the Community Assist Award winner, during the NBA basketball draft lottery, Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Oklahoma City Thunder all-star point guard Russell Westbrook received the NBA Cares Community Assist Award, presented by Kaiser Permanente, for the 2014-2015 NBA season.  This award recognizes an NBA player who best represents the league through his philanthropy and volunteerism.

Westbrook received his award from NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum, NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier and Kaiser Permanente Vice President of External and Community Affairs Yvette Radford on May 19 during the NBA Lottery in New York.  The recognition was decided by fan votes and a NBA panel of judges.

“I’m excited that I was able to accomplish a lot of great things throughout the year,” Westbrook said, according to ESPN.com. “I learned a lot about myself and a lot about other people and kids as well. I’m excited and blessed to be able to have received this honor.”

Westbrook will also receive a $25,000 donation from Kaiser Permanente and the NBA to his Why Not? Foundation, which works to help children facing hardships of any kind, supporting community-based education and family service programs.

Most recently, Westbrook donated the brand new car he won for being the 2015 Kia NBA All-Star MVP to Kerstin Gonzalez, a single mother of two children. Additionally, Westbrook has opened new reading centers in three Oklahoma City public schools and hosted Thanksgiving meals, holiday parties and shopping sprees for Oklahomans in need.

“As a child, my brother and I were taught to challenge adversity by working harder and asking ourselves ‘Why not?’” Westbrook said in a news conference.  “The Why Not? Foundation aims to empower children to overcome their own obstacles and provide them with opportunities to reach their full potential.”