Sportress of Blogitude

Joakim Noah wins prestigious NBA citizenship award

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Chicago Bulls star Joakim Noah is the 2015 recipient of the J. Walter Kennedy Award which is given annually by members of the Professional Basketball Writers Association to a player, coach or trainer who exemplifies dedication to community service.

The Bulls center’s work with through his Noah’s Arc Foundation, specifically the recently launched “Rock Your Drop: The Drop of Consciousness” campaign against youth violence — along with an anti-violence video entitled “You’re Not Alone,” — likely put him over the top for the award that has been given out since the 1974-75 season. The Magic’s Tobias Harris, the Pistons’ Greg Monroe, the Clippers’ Chris Paul and the Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph joined Noah as finalists.

The NBA’s statement congratulating Noah on the award is available here.

Noah downplayed his impact on the great works being done through his foundation.

“I’m not proud of myself. I’m proud of everybody who has helped bring positives to Chicago to help the kids,” Noah said, via the Chicago Tribune. “Our group has put in a lot of work to help. There’s still a long ways to go. It’s only the beginning. The award is great because it brings awareness to what we’re doing. But that’s it. I know there’s a lot of work to do.”

Because of his fiery brand of competitiveness, Noah has earned the reputation of an on-court hothead and sometime provocateur — as evidenced by some of his antics during the Bulls’ playoff series with the Cavaliers — but it’s clear that he is capable of doing great things on behalf of communities during his time outside the gym.