NEW YORK - On Sunday, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James was awarded the 2016-17 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.
Every year, the Professional Basketball Writers Association selects a player, coach or athletic trainer who "shows outstanding service and dedication to the community."
There were five finalists this year, including New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler, Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum and Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph.
The finalists are chosen by a committee from a pool of 26 nominees submitted by various NBA teams.
James was selected for his work with disadvantaged youth and helping to create long-term community change in Akron. He is noted for his LeBron James Family Foundation, which encourages children to stay in school and attend college. More than 1,100 at-risk students have benefited from the program.
“LeBron James’ efforts to help young people are exemplary,” said PBWA President Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. “He is making a difference, and so are the other 25 people who were nominated for this award.”
The Professional Basketball Writers Association is composed of "approximately 200 writers and editors who cover the NBA on a regular basis for newspapers, online outlets and magazines."
The award is named after the NBA’s second commissioner.
ALL-TIME NBA J. WALTER KENNEDY CITIZENSHIP AWARD WINNERS
1974-75 Wes Unseld, Washington
1975-76 Slick Watts, Seattle
1976-77 Dave Bing, Washington
1977-78 Bob Lanier, Detroit
1978-79 Calvin Murphy, Houston
1979-80 Austin Carr, Cleveland
1980-81 Mike Glenn, New York
1981-82 Kent Benson, Detroit
1982-83 Julius Erving, Philadelphia
1983-84 Frank Layden, Utah
1984-85 Dan Issel, Denver
1985-86 Michael Cooper, L.A. Lakers
Rory Sparrow, New York
1986-87 Isiah Thomas, Detroit
1987-88 Alex English, Denver
1988-89 Thurl Bailey, Utah
1989-90 Doc Rivers, Atlanta
1990-91 Kevin Johnson, Phoenix
1991-92 Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers
1992-93 Terry Porter, Portland
1993-94 Joe Dumars, Detroit
1994-95 Joe O’Toole, Atlanta
1995-96 Chris Dudley, Portland
1996-97 P.J. Brown, Miami
1997-98 Steve Smith, Atlanta
1998-99 Brian Grant, Portland
1999-00 Vlade Divac, Sacramento
2000-01 Dikembe Mutombo, Philadelphia
2001-02 Alonzo Mourning, Miami
2002-03 David Robinson, San Antonio
2003-04 Reggie Miller, Indiana
2004-05 Eric Snow, Cleveland
2005-06 Kevin Garnett, Minnesota
2006-07 Steve Nash, Phoenix
2007-08 Chauncey Billups, Detroit
2008-09 Dikembe Mutombo, Houston
2009-10 Samuel Dalembert, Philadelphia
2010-11 Metta World Peace, L.A. Lakers
2011-12 Pau Gasol, L.A. Lakers
2012-13 Kenneth Faried, Denver
2013-14 Luol Deng, Cleveland
2014-15 Joakim Noah, Chicago
2015-16 Wayne Ellington, Brooklyn
2016-17 LeBron James, Cleveland
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