NBPA Foundation Supports Long-Term Community Investment in Cleveland in Honor of the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend

NBPA Foundation Supports Long-Term Community Investment in Cleveland in Honor of the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend

NEW YORK, NY, February 18, 2022 – Committed to making a lasting impact in every community its players touch, the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Foundation has awarded a series of grants to a number of Cleveland and Akron-based organizations in celebration of the city hosting the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend. 

To support access to sports for all young people, the NBPA Foundation is pleased to announce grants totaling $50,000 have been awarded to support sports programming in schools around Cleveland. The donation will go specifically to Playworks, a national nonprofit that supports learning and physical health by providing safe and inclusive play to low-income students in urban areas, and will support Cleveland schools by providing training and resources to increase access to sports and play.

In addition to these grants, the NBPA Foundation is also supporting the work of 2022 NBA All-Star Darius Garland in the Cleveland community through its player matching grant program. In December, Garland supported youth initiatives at the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Ohio, and the NBPA Foundation will match his donation.

The NBPA Foundation is also continuing to support local civic engagement ecosystems with renewed investments in Cleveland VOTES and The Freedom BLOC, Ohio-based organizations focused on supporting civic engagement and the protection of voting rights. These grants are provided through the Players’ Justice Fund, which was created from the proceeds of the auction of game-worn jerseys from the 2020 season restart in Orlando. In October 2020, the Player’s Justice Fund provided support to 19 organizations around the country working to increase voter turnout and combat voter suppression.

“Each year, All-Star Weekend gives the NBPA Foundation an opportunity to engage with the host city and support local community organizations focused on causes our players are passionate about,” said Lyzz Ogunwo, acting executive director of the NBPA Foundation.  “We are thrilled to support these organizations and their important work.”

"Play is part of what helps kids feel more connected, included, joyous, and positively impacts their overall mental and physical wellbeing,” said Elizabeth Cushing, CEO of Playworks. “Playworks is proud to support this work in Cleveland through the NBPA Foundation grant to provide additional opportunities for more elementary-age kids to benefit from experiencing safe, healthy, and meaningful play every day."

"Cleveland VOTES seeks to elevate the importance of equitable democracy for historically disenfranchised members of our community and partner with mission-aligned entities,” said Erica Anthony, Co-Founder of Cleveland VOTES. “We are grateful for the NBPA Foundation's commitment to the racial/social justice movement and voting access to collectively uplift the power of the vote!" 

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About the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Foundation:

Established in 1997, the National Basketball Players Association Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of its members and providing support and assistance to persons, communities and organizations throughout the world that seek to improve the lives of those in need. Through grants that match players’ philanthropy and charitable giving, the Foundation highlights and accelerates the real and collaborative work that basketball players do worldwide to build their communities and create meaningful change.