Suspect arrested in Ole Miss student’s death

Mike Conley up for NBA Cares Community Assist Award

Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley poses during the team’s NBA basketball media day Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, in Memphis, Tenn. The Grizzlies have a handful of new faces with Conley back healthy as they try to keep up with an ever tougher Western Conference. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

MEMPHIS, Tenn.  — Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley is one of 10 players nominated for the 2018-19 Season-long NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente, the league announced Wednesday.

Fan voting for the award began earlier today on social media and concludes on May 5 at 10:59 p.m. CST. Chosen by fans and an NBA executive panel, the season long winner will be announced at the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia on June 24 on TNT live from historic Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California.

The season-long award honors a player’s strong commitment to positively impacting their communities through sustained efforts over the course of the season. The winning player will receive $25,000 to donate to their charity of choice, a donation from the NBA and Kaiser Permanente.

Fans can vote for their chosen season long award nominee via Twitter by using #NBACommunityAssist and @mconley11 or #MikeConley, and Jebbit, where they can view and select videos highlighting each player’s impact. Retweets are also counted and votes cast on the first and last day (April 24 and May 5) will count twice towards a player’s total

On April 11, Conley along with his family announced a half million-dollar donation to support the Methodist Healthcare Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center yesterday at Methodist University Hospital. Inspired by the health challenges of his two cousins living with sickle cell disease, Conley partnered with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in 2011 to create a dedicated medical environment to meet the needs of these patients.

With their gift, Conley and his wife Mary have now contributed and helped to raise over $1 million to support Methodist in delivering innovative, comprehensive care and developing new treatments for patients with sickle cell in the Mid-South. In recognition of this commitment and generosity, the Center’s clinic space will now be named The Mike and Mary Conley Comprehensive Sickle Cell Clinic.

Earlier this season, Conley received the January NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente in recognition of his continued work to improve the lives of Memphis youth through mentorship and community outreach. In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and National Mentoring Month, Conley participated in a candid discussion and tour at the National Civil Rights Museum with five young men from Memphis Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School. An active board member of the Grizzlies Foundation, Conley regularly provides guidance to empower young men of color at Grizzlies Prep and has donated more than $200,000 to the organization.

Additionally, he provided monetary and emotional support to the family and friends of Kameren Johnson, a Memphis 9-year-old who lost his life in a bus crash last December. Conley hosted Kameren’s family and his Orange Mound football teammates and coaches at the Grizzlies’ Dec. 26 game, where he gifted customized, game-worn sneakers to Johnson’s mother. He also donated $15,000 for a mental wellness retreat, counseling sessions, a fun arcade night and to assist with the medical bills of Kameren’s teammates who were injured in the crash.

This past fall, Conley also held his 10th annual Bowl N’ Bash to benefit the Methodist Healthcare Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center. He also regularly hosts youth through the Grizzlies’ Tickets for Kids program and is a St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital ambassador.

The 10 nominees include the offseason winner, six monthly winners and three additional players selected by the NBA for their exceptional community work. The other nominees are: Jarrett Allen, Bradley Beal, Tobias Harris, LeBron James, Damian Lillard, Khris Middleton, Donovan Mitchell, Dwight Powell and Pascal Siakam. The NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente recognizes an NBA player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and its players share for giving back to their communities, and honors the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson, who improved the community piece by piece. To learn more, you can visit http://www.nba.com/communityassist/.

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