Timberwolves' Dieng gets Community Assist Award
Minnesota Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng has received the Offseason NBA Cares Community Assist Award in recognition of his continued efforts to provide sustainable programming and medical assistance to children and families in Senegal, the NBA announced today.
This is the third year the NBA and Kaiser Permanente have presented the offseason award to an NBA player for his impactful work from the end of the regular season to the start of the following season.
Through the Gorgui Dieng Foundation and in partnership with Minnesota-based global health nonprofit MATTER, Dieng has created long-term, sustainable change in his native Senegal.
Dieng has donated life-saving medical equipment and supplies to improve health care, built demonstration farms to support sustainable agriculture and better equip farmers, created access to nutritious food, and taught children leadership, problem-solving and fitness through basketball.
This summer, Dieng sent 300,000 bags of vital IV fluid to Senegal, and later visited a neonatal hospital in Diamniadio that benefitted from his organisation’s donations. He also hosted Regenerate Senegal, an agriculture conference for farmers and growers, at the Gorgui Dieng Center for Agricultural Excellence in Kébémer and served as a panelist at the NBA Africa Innovation Summit, discussing his journey as an entrepreneur and ways to inspire and educate local youth.
In July, Dieng attended the SEED Project Hoop Forum and Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa, two programs he participated in during his childhood where he learned fundamentals and core values of the game.
As part of the forum’s panel discussion and basketball clinics, he mentored and spoke with students, and later that week he coached 60 of the top boys and girls from 29 countries across the continent at BWB Africa. He also joined NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Senegalese officials for the dedication of a new court in Dakar.
“Using my platform to give back to my home country and help those in need is special for me,” said Dieng. “We have a lot of work in front of us, but I am proud of the lives we have positively impacted and humbled to know future generations will benefit from the resources we have provided. Thank you to MATTER and Timberwolves season ticket holders Roger and Nancy McCabe for their commitment and dedication to our endeavor to build a sustainable future for the children of Senegal.”
NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier will present the award to Dieng during an oncourt ceremony before the Timberwolves’ home game tonight against the Golden State Warriors (8:00 p.m. ET). In addition, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will donate $10,000 on Dieng’s behalf to MATTER.
The NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente recognizes an NBA player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and its players share for giving back to their communities. It honors the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson, who improved the community piece by piece. At the end of the 2019-20 regular season, the Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award winner will be announced at the 2020 NBA Awards.