CHICAGO — As he’s just beginning his third season with the Bulls, a Chicago native is being honored by the NBA.
This award for Ayo Dosunmu, however, comes for his work away from the basketball court.
The Chicago native, former Morgan Park High School and Illinois star was named the NBA Cares Bob Lanier Community Assist Award offseason winner on Thursday.
Also given during the seven months of the NBA regular season, it awards players for their outstanding work in their communities, with Dosunmu’s efforts coming in his hometown. He was notified of the award during Thursday’s practice at the Advocate Center and will receive the award at the November 6 game against the Jazz at the United Center.
“This recognition means the world to me, not just as a basketball player, but as a proud representative of this incredible city,” said Dosunmu in a statement. “Being able to give back to the same city that raised me and made me the man I am today is an unforgettable feeling. I dedicate this award to the youth of Chicago – dream fearlessly and stay focused, and the opportunities will be endless.”
In his third season with the Bulls, Dosunmu has already made a number of contributions to the community through his Ayo Dos Foundation, which has a mission to create “safe, accessible spaces for growth and education.”
Some of the things that he’s done this summer through his foundation include.
- A youth basketball clinic in May with 60 youth from Black Kids Predict to teach fundamentals along with the connections between sports and technology.
- In July, Dosunmu held his second “Ayo’s Block Party” in tribute to his friend Darius Brown, who died due to gun violence. This offered 120 youth basketball instruction while there were also equipment donations along with $5,000 donations to the Beyond the Ball & Urban Male Network.
- Launched the “Ayo’s Scholars” program at Beasley Academic Center while also holding a back-to-school pep rally for 1,000 students. During the event, he pledged to give every honor roll student tickets to a 2023-2024 Bulls’ home game.
- In partnership with Nordstrom and Shoes That Fit, he donated sneakers to over 300 students at Philip Randolph Elementary School.