He may be done for the season, but Luol Deng has won an award. Today, the NBA announced that Deng is the 2013-2014 J. Walter Citizenship Award. The award has been presented annually since the 1974-1975 seasons. It is named in honor of James Walter Kennedy, the NBA’s second commissioner.
Past winners of the award include Steve Nash, Magic Johnson and Ron Artest, who know goes by Metta World Peace. Two Cavaliers have won the award, Austin Carr in 1979-1980 and Eric Snow in 2004-2005.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for any award, but this one is special because it represents who I am as a person and where I came from,” Deng said in the press release. “What I’m most proud of is that my family can look back after my career is over and realize that I was able to make a difference on and off the basketball court. That is something that tells the true story as to who I am as a person, someone who cares about his community and wants to improve the lives of others.”
Deng won the award for his involvement in numerous causes relating to his home country of Sudan. Not notably, Deng runs his own foundation, the Luol Deng foundation, which uses basketball as a platform to give hope to those in Africa, Great Britain and the United States. In Africa, the work focuses on building outside basketball courts, two of which will open in the Sudan in 2014.
In Great Britain, the program focuses on providing opportunities through basketball camps, clinics and other events. In the United States, Deng has funded Thanksgiving and other holiday events in both Cleveland and Chicago.
Cavaliers guard Jarrett Jack also was honored today. Jack won the local “Good Guy” award for cooperation with the media.
#Cavs guard Jarrett Jack has won “Good Guy” award for cooperation with media.
— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) April 15, 2014