Lakers power forward/center Pau Gasol was named the winner of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, given annually to the player, coach or trainer who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community. “Gasol has been a tireless worker on behalf of various UNICEF causes,” the NBA said in a news release Friday morning.
Gasol has been a UNICEF ambassador for seven years.
The award is voted on by members of the Professional Basketball Writers Association. Other finalists this season for the award were Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks, Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks and J.J. Redick of the Orlando Magic.
Metta World Peace, Gasol’s Lakers teammate, won the award last season for his work in promoting the treatment and diagnosis of mental illness. Samuel Dalembert won the award in 2009-10 for helping the relief efforts in Haiti after a devastating earthquake in his homeland.