Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo has received the December NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente in recognition of his work with the hearing impaired and countless charitable efforts throughout Orlando, the NBA announced today. The award recognizes an NBA player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and its players share for giving back to their communities.
Kaiser Permanente and the NBA are honoring Oladipo for his unwavering dedication to making a difference in the lives of local youth and families. Deeply affected by his elder sister Kendra, who became deaf in the second grade, Oladipo recently visited students at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington, D.C., where Kendra is currently a substitute teacher. He also hosted a holiday party for children from the UCF Listening Center, which provides resources and programs for families and their children with hearing loss. In addition to treating the kids to new toys and arts and crafts, Oladipo surprised the center with a $35,000 donation toward future programming.
As part of NBA Cares Season of Giving, Oladipo went above and beyond to surprise a young single mother and her daughter on Christmas Eve. With the help of teammate Channing Frye, Oladipo presented Sonora Walker and her 5-year-old, Taylor, with gifts for the holidays and a check to aid their transition out of a local women’s shelter. Oladipo then stunned the pair with a new Kia SOUL to help Walker with transportation to and from her new job.
“Kendra is a huge reason why I am here right now,” Oladipo said. “She inspired me to take a more active role in the community and give back to those in need.”
Before Orlando’s home game tomorrow against the Washington Wizards, NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier, Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins and General Manager Rob Hennigan, and Kaiser Permanente Vice President of Strategy, Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy John Vu will present Oladipo with the David Robinson Award during an oncourt ceremony. In addition, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will donate $10,000 on Oladipo’s behalf to the Victor Oladipo Fund for the UCF Listening Center.