Russell Westbrook named winner of NBA Cares Community Assist Award

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook has won the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for the 2014-15 season.

Westbrook, who represented the Thunder at the NBA draft lottery in New York, was formally announced as the winner on Tuesday. Westbrook was presented with the David Robinson Plaque during a presentation at the lottery.

"I'm excited that I was able to accomplish a lot of great things throughout the year," Westbrook told the team's website. "I learned a lot about myself and a lot about other people and kids as well. I'm excited and blessed to be able to have received this honor."

Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will also donate $25,000 to Westbrook's Why Not? Foundation, which was launched in 2012 working to help children facing hardships of any kind, supporting community-based education and family service programs.

During the 2014-15 season, Westbrook and his Why Not? Foundation opened new reading centers called "Russell's Reading Room" in three Oklahoma City public schools, providing 1,200 new books. Westbrook also presented a local Oklahoma City single mother of two children with the new Kia car he won as the 2015 All-Star Game MVP.

Westbrook, who finished fourth in this season's MVP voting and won the scoring title, had said during the season the award he had his eye on most was the Community Assist. The award was voted on by fans and an NBA panel of judges, including past J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award winners. Westbrook joins past winners Pau Gasol, Dwyane Wade and Stephen Curry.

"I think it's very important, when you're in a position like this -- you have to be able to find ways to help others out," Westbrook said. "I can always see myself in the kids I help out because that was me, looking up to guys in Los Angeles. I just thought it was my duty to be able to do that. If i can win it every year, I will definitely try."