Pau Gasol to receive Kia Community Assist Award

In recognition of his ongoing monetary and public support for Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Lakers forward Pau Gasol will be presented Monday with the KIA Community Assist Award. In turn, KIA and the NBA will donate a total of $25,000 to the hospital and present to Gasol the David Robinson Plaque with the inscription, “Following the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson who improved the community piece by piece.”

This will be the second honor Gasol has received in a little more than two weeks for his charity work. On May 18, Gasol won the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award,  which honors an NBA player or coach who has displayed “outstanding service and dedication to the community” and is determined by the Professional Basketball Writers Assn., a panel of 150 writers who cover the NBA for newspapers, magazines or the Internet on a regular basis.

That reward reflected Gasol’s ongoing work as a UNICEF ambassador and frequent visitor to both Memphis’ St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. As far as his latter involvement, Gasol has made numerous visits — both publicized and private — where he hosted clinics and read to children. He also has viewed three spinal surgeries, the latest this past Tuesday; he allowed me to film the experience, which will be the subject of a later post.

–Mark Medina