CJ McCollum received the February NBA Cares Community Assist Award, the NBA announced on Thursday. The award is periodically given to players who share the league’s passion for giving back to the community.
McCollum earned the honor for his journalism-based mentorship program, CJ’s Press Pass, as well as his work with Portland Metro Boys & Girls Clubs.
McCollum has also created innovative spaces to help students learn and think creatively, like the CJ McCollum Dream Center that he designed and funded for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro. In addition to hosting summer basketball camps and holiday parties in the center, McCollum works closely with local organizations like Girls, Inc., Start Making a Reader Today (SMART) and the Urban League of Portland to help underserved youth and families attend home games throughout the season.
“Over the course of my life, there have been so many people who have invested in me and provided me with opportunities to grow,” said McCollum. “It is an awesome responsibility for me to be able to provide young people with the resources they need to succeed, and I look forward to continuing to make an impact in the Portland community for years to come.”
The CJ McCollum Dream Center opened in NE Portland, Nov. 2016. McCollum encourages youth to discover their passions and explore creativity in education.
In addition to recognizing McCollum’s efforts, the NBA and Kaiser Permanente will donate $10,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Portland Metro area. McCollum will publicly receive the award in an on-court ceremony as the Trail Blazers host the Clippers on Friday.