Blazers G Damian Lillard Wins NBA Community Assist Award For March

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has won the league's Community Assist award for March.

The NBA announced Wednesday that Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has won the league's Community Assist award for March.

Trail Blazers rookie Damian Lillard has been named the recipient of the NBA's "Kia Community Assist Award" for March in recognition of his outstanding efforts in the community, ongoing advocacy and charitable work, the NBA announced today.

Kia and the NBA are honoring Lillard for his commitment to anti-bullying and his ongoing support of local, regional and national organizations that share his passion for promoting respect for all. He teamed up with Les Schwab and adidas to help the Trail Blazers tip off the "Respect, Pass It On." campaign on March 4, which encourages people to take a stand against bullying and pledge to respect others. The Respect campaign also encourages people to make an anti-bullying pledge online at trailblazers.com/respect, which has resulted in more than 5,000 pledges to date.

"It's an honor to receive this award and I hope that it will bring even more attention to the Respect campaign," said Lillard. "I've seen too many of the negative effects that bullying has on people, especially kids. Now that I've learned how many people look up to us as NBA players, I want to make the most of it by getting behind positive initiatives like anti-bullying."

Lillard is the fourth NBA rookie to receive the award and the first since Atlanta's Al Horford in 2008. He is the fifth Trail Blazers player to win the award (Wesley Matthews, Feb. 2012; Juwan Howard, April 2010; Theo Ratliff, May 2006; Damon Stoudamire, Oct. 2004). The NBA began naming Community Assist award winners at the beginning of the 2001-02 season.

Prior to tonight's game against the Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier will present Lillard with the "Kia Community Assist Award." Lillard will receive the David Robinson Plaque with the inscription, "Following the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson who improved the community piece by piece." In addition, Kia and the NBA will donate $10,000 on Lillard's behalf to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, split evenly between the Portland and Oakland affiliates.

Kia Motors has been an NBA Cares partner since 2010. The league presents the "Kia Community Assist Award" monthly throughout the season as well as a final award at the end of the season to recognize players for their year-round charitable efforts. The award honors the NBA player who best reflects the passion that the league and its players have for giving back to their communities.

Thanks to JasonT in the FanShots for getting there first.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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