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VanVleet named finalist for NBA’s Social Justice Champion award

VanVleet is one of five finalists for the 2021-22 award.
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 2:55 PM CDT
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NEW YORK (WIFR) - On Monday the NBA announced its finalists for the 2021-22 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award, which included Rockford native and Raptors guard, Fred VanVleet.

According to the league, “The annual award recognizes a current NBA player for pursuing social justice and advancing Abdul-Jabbar’s life mission to engage, empower and drive equality for individuals and groups who have been historically marginalized or systemically disadvantaged.”

VanVleet is being recognized for building equity within education. In December 2021, the Auburn alum created the Fred VanVleets scholarship, a full academic scholarship for a black or indigenous student to pursue higher education for four years in Canada.

Along with his work in education, VanVleet also created the “Bet on Yourself” podcast, which highlights BIPOC entrepreneurs and their businesses. The podcast also aims to provide listeners with insight and information on branding, entrepreneurship, finance, and e-commerce.

VanVleet joins Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, Dallas’ Reggie Bullock, Memphis’ Jaren Jackson Jr., and Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday as finalists for the award. The winner will be announced during the Western Conference Finals and will receive a $100,000 donation from the NBA towards a cause of the player’s choosing. The other four finalists will receive a $25,000 donation from the league.

Carmelo Anthony won the inaugural award for the 2020-21 season.

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