Tobias Harris received the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for the month of October, the league announced on Friday.
The 76ers forward was recognized for his efforts to improve equity in education. This monthly award recognizes an NBA player who demonstrates the passion for giving back to local communities.
Harris partnered with Read by 4th to host a Book Block Party on Oct. 17 in North Philly as part of his Tobias Lit Labs campaign, which brings diverse books and authors to schools and families.
“The Tobias Lit Labs campaign is great because it helps kids get excited about reading and further builds their vocabulary and knowledge,” Harris said in a statement. “I love books and it’s a blessing to share this passion and help kids get access to books from diverse backgrounds.”
The free block party underlined the importance of establishing home literacy and provided thousands of books and local literacy resources to local youth and families.
Harris also invited author Kelly Starling Lyons to the event and supplied free copies of her book, Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon. Freelon, a Philly native, was the architect of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
Sixers managing partner Josh Harris will present Harris with the award before Saturday’s game against the Golden State Warriors at the Wells Fargo Center. The NBA and Kaiser Permanente will donate $10,000 on Harris’ behalf to the Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation, which provides grants for community projects, scholarships, after-school programs and more.
But giving back and supporting educational equality is nothing new for Tobias Harris.
The Long Island native has helped youth and families in New York, Orlando, Detroit, Haiti, and South Africa. His Tobias Harris Charitable Fund has contributed more than $2 million, in addition to donating classroom supplies. He supports development for educators and students by ensuring they’re equipped with the necessary tools to learn. And he serves on the inaugural board of the NBA Foundation, which invests in organizations that promote school-to-career and workforce development opportunities for Black youth.