Ricky Rubio is having a great season, but he plays his best games off the court. The Cavaliers point guard received the ‘NBA Cares Community Assist’ award before the Warriors game in recognition of “his continued efforts to improve the lives of children and families, particularly those affected by cancer.”
The NBA argues for the award to the Spanish player based on “his commitment to providing resources and improving the hospital experience of cancer patients and their families in their native Spain and in the United States through the Ricky Rubio Foundation.” In April, Ricky launched ‘I Am Ready’, a virtual program to facilitate these experiences for pediatric cancer patients undergoing radiation treatments.
The program will reach 1,000 young patients in the United States during the 2021-22 NBA season. The base will try to educate children about what to expect and try to train them to reduce their fear and anxiety about treatment.
Furthermore, in collaboration with the LaCaixa Foundation, Rubio announced the construction of a new therapeutic rehabilitation area at the Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona to increase the number of children and adolescents that the hospital can serve by almost 40%. In addition, the Ricky Rubio Foundation funded a week-long stay for a family battling cancer in the ‘Dreams Village’, “whose goal is to have a positive impact on the recovery of patients.”
“It is an honor to receive the ‘NBA Cares Offseason Community Assist’ award. There are many NBA players who make a difference in their communities and I am fortunate to have been chosen. Ever since I started playing basketball, I have always thought about how harnessing sport and community. I toyed with the idea of creating a foundation until the decision to act became more personal and clear: my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in the summer of 2012 and in one of my last conversations with her I promised that I would do everything in my power to help others “, says the player.