NEW YORK, Aug. 6, 2020 – The NBA G League today announced the recipients of the NBA G League Team Business and Social Responsibility/Youth Basketball Awards. All 28 teams were invited to submit a nomination in each category for awards recognizing excellence for team business and social responsibility, with a committee of league and team executives choosing the winners.
The College Park Skyhawks earned the NBA G League Social and Digital Media Award, while the Windy City Bulls received the NBA G League Promotion of the Year. The Long Island Nets, Salt Lake City Stars and Santa Cruz Warriors were each honored with the NBA G League Social Responsibility/Youth Basketball Award.
“This year’s recipients of the NBA G League Team Business and Social Responsibility/Youth Basketball Awards are the finest representations of the innovative thinking and deep commitment to their communities that all of our teams embody,” said NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim. “Whether it is through technology or personal interaction, our teams continue to create strong bonds with people that help grow the game around the world.”
NBA G League Social and Digital Media Award: College Park Skyhawks
The College Park Skyhawks, the NBA G League affiliate of the Atlanta Hawks, were named the NBA G League Social and Digital Media Award honoree after creating an engaging digital content campaign that measured how much fans interacted with the team on social media, including through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The Skyhawks’ content throughout their inaugural season amplified community initiatives, player stories, team mascot activations and interactions with influencers like Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist Tauheed “2 Chainz” Epps, who is a member of the Skyhawks’ ownership team. From showcasing the team’s open tryouts and enlisting local celebrities to support new team gear in Summer 2019, to highlighting Tori Miller as the NBA G League’s first female general manager in July 2020, the Skyhawks used moments during the season to connect to their fans and ensure each had the opportunity to connect with their team.
NBA G League Promotion of the Year: Windy City Bulls
The Windy City Bulls, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, were recognized with the NBA G League Promotion of the Year Award after creating a unique activation that positively impacted local business and the community. In partnership with the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, Looney Tunes Night delivered an innovative experience for fans by promoting art education and awareness in the local community. The event featured a first for the NBA G League as the Bulls and visiting Westchester Knicks wore special Looney Tunes themed uniforms that were auctioned to fans of both teams, with proceeds going to the Backyard Experience, a local art education organization based in suburban Chicago. Attendees also received a commemorative Marvin the Martian and Gus T. Bull bobble head dolls. In addition, they engaged in numerous interactive animation drawing and creation stations and viewed exhibits that were displayed throughout the arena.
NBA G League Social Responsibility/Youth Basketball Program of the Year Award: Long Island Nets, Salt Lake Stars and Santa Cruz Warriors
The NBA G League Social Responsibility/Youth Basketball Program Award was presented to three teams – the Long Island Nets (Brooklyn Nets), Salt Lake City Stars (Utah Jazz) and Santa Cruz Warriors (Golden State Warriors) – for achieving excellence in community outreach and youth basketball initiatives in their regions.
The Long Island Nets NextGen Series
The Long Island Nets NextGen Series presented by the Hospital for Special Surgery, highlighted the development of young athletes while promoting an environment of safe play. The program featured four parts, including: Long Island Nets Basketball Academy, Operate with Dale, Youth Combine, and Local Player Tryouts.
The team’s multi-faceted social responsibility program also focused on education through its Long Island Nets Read to Achieve assemblies with elementary school students. Nearly 4,700 students at 18 schools were read to by Nets representatives. In addition, the Nets partnered with the Book Fairies, a non-profit organization that collects reading material for those in need. As part of the effort, the Book Fairies set the Guinness World Record on March 2, 2020, for the longest line of books as part of their 2,000,000 Books Donated Celebration.
Salt Lake City Stars Autism Awareness Night
The Salt Lake City Stars hosted Autism Awareness Night at Vivint Smart Home Arena, which drew a franchise record 9,413 attendees on March 2, 2020. The game featured a limited-edition Joe Ingles bobble head doll ticket package, while the players wore jerseys with the Autism Awareness logo. A portion of the proceeds from the bobble head sales and jersey auction were donated to Vivint Gives Back, the charitable foundation of Vivint Smart Home, to support its mission to help children with developmental disabilities. The game presentation featured a sensory-reduced environment with lowered public address and music volume and limited flashing lights.
Santa Cruz Warriors’ Sea Dub Classics Program
The monthly Warriors’ Sea Dub Classics Program helped Santa Cruz County citizens, aged 55 and older, experience new activities, develop healthy lifestyles and thrive throughout the year. Sea Dub Classics featured a variety of events to energize the team’s fans through new activities to promote healthy living with support from the Santa Cruz Warriors staff, Kaiser Permanente executives and local community partners. This year’s events engaged local community leaders including Robin Berkery (Jazzercise of Santa Cruz and Aptos), Suzi Mahler (Suzi Mahler Yoga) and Mike Rotkin (San Lorenzo River Scientist) to engage their neighbors in classes and seminars