Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid has been putting in the sort of work this season that gets a player recognized. The big man is averaging a career-high 30.0 points per game to go along with 11.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.4 blocks for the no. 1 seeded team in the East. While NBA fans argue over whether Joel has played enough games to compete for the MVP award, Sixers faithful can appreciate a different award coming Joel’s way — though this one’s got nothing to do with his on-court production.
Embiid has been named a recipient of the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for the month of March, according to a team press release. Embiid is receiving the recognition for his efforts to address youth homelessness and housing insecurity in Philadelphia. The full release is quoted below.
PHILADELPHIA, APRIL 19, 2021 – The NBA announced today, that Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers has received the March NBA Cares Community Assist Award in recognition of his efforts to address youth homelessness and housing insecurity in Philadelphia. Each month, the award recognizes a player who best reflects the passion that the league and NBA players share for giving back to their communities. In honor of Embiid’s efforts, the NBA will be donating $10,000 to Covenant House Pennsylvania, an organization that serves homeless youth.
Embiid has been active in his community efforts and philanthropy since joining the 76ers in 2014, when the team selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in the NBA Draft. In February, after being named an NBA All-Star starter for the fourth consecutive year, Embiid announced that he would be donating $100,000 to three local organizations who serve homeless individuals, including Youth Services Inc., Project HOME and Sunday Breakfast Mission. Embiid’s donations provided 15,000 meals, 4,000 essential clothing items, medical treatment for 1,000 housing insecure individuals, access to a six-week summer camp for 50 young people experiencing homelessness and shelter for more than 300 teens facing housing insecurity.
“It’s a huge honor to receive the NBA Cares Community Assist Award,” said Embiid. “Giving back and using the platform I have to create positive change in the city I love has always been important to me. Covenant House Pennsylvania is doing amazing work, and they are an incredibly deserving recipient of this $10,000 donation. I will continue to give back to those in my community who are less fortunate and I look forward to delivering a championship to Philadelphia and the best fans in the world.”
Embiid was presented with the award during a special virtual ceremony on Friday and will be recognized during tonight’s game against the Golden State Warriors (7:30 p.m. on ESPN).
During the 76ers “Season of Giving” this past December, Embiid adopted families that had been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic by providing each family with gifts, clothing, groceries and housing rent or mortgage relief for an entire year.
When the 2019-2020 NBA season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Embiid joined 76ers Managing Partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer to donate $1.3 million to Penn Medicine to develop antibody testing for frontline healthcare workers. As part of his continued support for healthcare workers, he pledged $500,000 through the #FirstRespondersFirst campaign, an initiative of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Thrive Global and the CAA Foundation, to provide PPE to frontline workers.
Hats off to Joel for giving back to the Philadelphia community. That’s quite a stat line: $100,000 donated for four consecutive years providing 15,000 meals, 4,000 essential clothing items, and medical treatment for 1,000 individuals. It’s actions like Embiid’s that make it rewarding for fans to root for these guys on the court.