While speaking with the media today about improving his play on the court, Malcolm Brogdon received high accolades for his work off the court.
Brogdon, who is being recognized for his commitment to education, gender and health equality as well as his support for criminal justice and voting reform, has captured the 2019-20 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, the top community service prize given out by the Professional Basketball Writer’s Association which honors the player, coach or athletic trainer who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community.
“The depth and breadth of Malcolm Brogdon’s commitment to making a positive difference is inspiring,” said PBWA President Josh Robbins of The Athletic. “Members of the Professional Basketball Writers Association salute him and commend his fellow finalists and nominees for their exemplary work.”
In July, after marching for equality in the birthplace of Martin Luther King and penning an op-ed for USA Today about his experiences protesting in the wake of George Floyd’s death, the four-year NBA veteran used the league’s bubble campus in Orlando to amplify his platform for change, launching the Brogdon Family Foundation with a focus on two major initiatives: Hoops4Humanity, which seeks to create access to clean water and education for children and families in Africa, as well as the JHA project, which supports educational achievement in honor of his grandfather, John Hurst Adams, by focusing on literacy, mentoring and providing high impact educational experiences to schools in Indiana and throughout the United States.
During the offseason, Brogdon partnered with The Fan locally for a radiothon to help students in underserved communities in Indianapolis and also started a “Water Bowl” Fantasy Football league to further support clean water programs in East Africa.
Appearing on ESPN’s The Jump, the 6-foot-5 guard announced that his foundation has built its first water well in the Patanumbe region of Tanzania, an area located just outside the city of Arusha, near the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Moving forward, after raising nearly $700,000 in 18 months toward the goal of supplying greater access to clean water throughout Tanzania, the 27-year-old activist and philanthropist said on J.J. Redick’s podcast that his aim is to add an education component to Hoops4Humanity, which would include building water wells around schools and providing funding for infrastructure such as supplies and basketball courts.
In his first season with the Pacers, Brogdon averaged career highs of 16.5 points, 7.1 assists and 4.9 rebounds in 54 games after being acquired in a sign-and-trade deal with the Bucks worth $85 million while being represented by Danielle Cantor, the first female sports agent to sign directly with an NBA player.
From his social consciousness and charitable endeavors to his demonstrable commitment to his ideals, the Pacers are extremely blessed to be represented by such an impactful human, well-deserving of recognition for all his efforts to effect meaningful change, both domestically and overseas.
Reggie Miller was the last Pacer to win the award, in 2003-04.