Atlanta’s Onyeka Okongwu recognized with the Jason Collier Memorial Trophy for helping the community

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This year’s award for the player that best exemplifies the attributes of a community ambassador who supports youth enrichment already has an owner, as Hawks foward-center Onyeka Okongwu has taken the honors. It was the Atlanta administration who announced first that the Jason Collier Memorial Trophy for the 2022/23 campaign is in their ranks.

Collier, whose name represents the hardware, was also a Hawks player and passed away in 2005. Onyeka is now the 16th player to ever recieve the noble decoration.

“I’m incredibly grateful to be awarded the 2022-23 Jason Collier Memorial Trophy,” said Okongwu before Wednesday’s match against the Washington Wizards. “Giving back to youth has always been important to me. In receiving this honor, I hope to inspire others to lead the charge for community growth and continue to impact youth in engaging and positive ways.”

Throughout this campaign, the 22-year-old has proved his commitment to youth and the community with many important contributions on his own initiative.

One of the first was his participation in the NBA Social Impact Youth Basketball Clinic in Abu Dhabi, as three months ago, he recorded a video for students at the Bessie Branham Good Neighbor Club to inspire interest in technology.

The foward-center has also been a part of an audio-guided mindful awareness program for Inner Explorar, which is a nonprofit organization that looks to help kids improve their ability to focus, reach their potential and manage stress. His efforts have motivated both students and teachers to develop a wellness routine that has benefited thousands at Metro Atlanta YMCAs, Boys & Girls Club, Sheltering Arms locaciones, and Clayton County Public Schools.

During March’s Women’s History Month, Okongwu participated in a basketball clinic for girls with Project Rebound, an initiative created by the Hawks Foundation to provide sports resources to schools in high-needed communities. All organizations who were a part of it recieved basketball and fitness equipment for the youth.

The Collier family also extended their appreciation for Okongwu’s kind heart

“On behalf of my family, I would like to congratulate Onyeka Okongwu as the recipient of the 2022-23 Jason Collier Memorial Trophy,” said Katie Collier. “Onyeka’s involvement with the youth in our community is impactful and we are immensely proud of him. Additionally, we are grateful for the Atlanta Hawks in keeping Jason’s legacy and passion to serve alive.”

The 22-year-old has been rightfully awarded for giving back to families who are in desperate need of inspiration. Back in December, Okongwu invited three single mothers with their families from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta to a Hawks NBA match and gave them Christmas gifts that included clothes, gift cards, technology, etc.

Okongwu’s list of good deeds doesn’t stop there, as the third-year player been a part of multiple events through an Atlanta-arena non profit which empowers kids who have experienced the death of a family member, called Kate’s Club. The organization recently awarded him with their 2022 Mourning Glory Gala Honoree.

Let’s recap on the past recipients of the Jason Collier Memorial Trophy, starting with Josh Childress in both the 2005/06 and 2006/07 seasons.

After him, the list goes on with Marvin Williams (2007/08 and 2010/11), Al Horford (2008/09), Josh Smith (2009/10), Zaza Pachulia (2011/12), Devin Harris (2012/13), Kyle Korver (2013/14), DeMarre Carroll (2014/15), Mike Muscala (2015/16), Paul Millsap (2016/17), Malcolm Delaney (2017/18), Kent Bazemore (2018/19), John Collins (2019/20), Cam Reddish (2020/21), and Trae Young (2021/22).