Raptors' VanVleet 1 of 5 finalists for NBA's social justice award
All-star created full scholarship program with U of T for Black, Indigenous students
Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet has been named one of five finalists for the NBA's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award.
The award recognizes a current NBA player for working toward equity on behalf of "groups who have been historically marginalized or systemically disadvantaged."
VanVleet, an all-star for the first time this past season, created a full academic scholarship awarded to a Black or Indigenous student with the University of Toronto's Rotman Commerce program in December.
VanVleet also co-hosted the "Bet on Yourself" podcast, highlighting struggling or up-and-coming BIPOC entrepreneurs.
Dallas's Reggie Bullock, Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns, Milwaukee's Jrue Holiday and Memphis's Jaren Jackson Jr., were also named finalists.
The NBA to will donate $100,000 US to the winner's choice of charity, and $25,000 to those of the other finalists.
VanVleet has selected Penny Appeal Canada, a relief and development organization, as the recipient of his donation.
The award winner will be announced during the Western Conference final.
For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.