Friday, April 29, 2011

Citizen Artest

Ron Artest of the Los Angeles Lakers is the 2010-11 recipient of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award presented annually by the Professional Basketball Writers Association. The award is named for the second commissioner of the league and honors an NBA player or coach for outstanding service and dedication to the community.

Artest won for his tireless efforts to promote awareness of mental health, including fund-raising, appearing before Congress in support of Mental Health in Schools Act and his all-around advocacy on the issue. Artest also raffled off his 2010 championship ring, raising more than $650,000 for mental health awareness, and took part in a public service announcement in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.

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When Ron Artest went into the stands and confronted Detroit Pistons fans in 2004 he set off the epic "Malice at the Palace" brawl and seemingly ruined his reputation forever. But he has come a long way since. So far, in fact, he's been named the NBA's good citizen for this season.

The Lakers guard's efforts to raise awareness and funds for mental-health causes have led to him winning the 2010-11 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award. It is voted on by the Pro Basketball Writers Association and is given to the NBA player or coach who has displayed "outstanding service and dedication to the community."

Among Artest's good deeds was raffling his 2010 NBA championship ring for more than $650,000, with the money going to mental health programs. news of the award is from the Los Angeles Times website.

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