Atlanta Hawks Award Onyeka Okongwu With Jason Collier Memorial Trophy For Excellence In Community Service

Atlanta Hawks announced forward-center Onyeka Okongwu has been awarded the Jason Collier Memorial Trophy for the 2022-23 season. The award is earned annually by the Hawks player who best exemplifies the characteristics of a community ambassador displayed by Collier, the late Atlanta center who passed away in 2005. Okongwu becomes the 16th player to receive the award.

“I’m incredibly grateful to be awarded the 2022-23 Jason Collier Memorial Trophy,” said Okongwu. “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 the 2022-23 season, Okongwu has demonstrated his commitment to youth and the community, beginning with his participation in the NBA Social Impact Youth Basketball Clinic in Abu Dhabi. In January 2023, he recorded a video for youth at the Bessie Branham Good Neighbor Club to encourage interest in technology. Okongwu also participated in an audio-guided mindful awareness program for Inner Explorer, a nonprofit that helps kids manage stress and improve focus to reach their full potential. His efforts in the program have aided students and teachers in developing a daily mental wellness routine and will benefit thousands of students at Clayton County Public Schools, Metro Atlanta YMCAs, Boys & Girls Clubs and Sheltering Arms locations.

This season, Okongwu has committed himself to community work through basketball. In February 2023, he participated in a basketball clinic and visited students at the SCANA Energy Homework Center at Stone Mill Elementary School. In honor of Women’s History Month, Okongwu participated in the Hawks, Chase and Good Sports’ ‘Project Rebound’ basketball clinic for girls. Project Rebound is an initiative launched by the Hawks Foundation to provide sports resources to Title I schools and area nonprofits in high-need communities. All participating schools and organizations receive basketball and fitness equipment for youth programming.

“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 third-year player has championed for and given back to underserved families. As part of the Hawks’ Season of Giving events, in December 2022, Okongwu invited three single mothers and their families from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta to a Hawks game and presented them with Christmas gifts, including technology, clothing, gift cards and more. In addition, Okongwu has participated in multiple events through Kate’s Club, an Atlanta-area nonprofit which empowers children and teens who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver. As a result of his demonstrated desire and commitment to impacting his community, the organization recently named him their 2022 Mourning Glory Gala Honoree.

Past recipients of the Jason Collier Memorial Trophy include: Josh Childress (2005-06 and 2006-07), 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 (2019-2020), Cam Reddish (2020-21) and Trae Young (2021-22).


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