NEW YORK - Former Morehead State standout Kenneth Faried, now a member of the NBA's Denver Nuggets, has been named the 2012-13 winner of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.
The award is named after the second commissioner of the NBA and presented annually by the Professional Basketball Writers Association to the player, coach or trainer who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community.
Faried, a forward in his second NBA season (who played at Morehead State from 2007-11), is the second Nuggets player to receive the award. Dan Issel was honored in 1984-85, and Alex English was recognized in 1987-88.
Faried won the NBA's "Kia Community Assist Award" for February in recognition of his outstanding efforts in the community and his ongoing philanthropic and charitable work, including his efforts to champion equality and bring awareness to the importance of respect and inclusion.
Faried recently became a member of Athlete Ally, an organization that works to encourage acceptance of others and end homophobia in sports. In a show of support for equal rights, he attended the launch party for One Colorado to celebrate the passing of Senate Bill 11, The Colorado Civil Union Act. Faried also supported the message of inclusion by participating as an honorary coach at the 2013 NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Sports Basketball Game during NBA All-Star in Houston.
The Nuggets forward has been an integral part of the team's community outreach efforts this season, having purchased a block of season tickets for distribution to children from Special Olympics Colorado, Denver Public Schools and the Denver Rescue Mission as part of the team's community ticket program. Faried also joined the giveSPORTS Equipment Drive to provide inspiration and joy for individuals affected by the Colorado wildfires and the tragic shooting at the Aurora movie theater.
As part of the NBA Cares Pediatric Cancer Awareness campaign, Faried brought smiles to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital patients and families by treating the group to an unforgettable Team Fit clinic. Faried also donated and personally delivered 44 pairs of sneakers to a local middle school basketball team for use during the upcoming season. During his visit, he met with the team to discuss the importance of teamwork, sportsmanship and education.
“Kenneth's commitment to equality and inclusion is praise-worthy,” said Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, president of the Professional Basketball Writers Association. "He has reached out to so many areas in need and touched so many different communities in Denver and Colorado that it is only right to celebrate his efforts.''