Tobias Harris of the 76ers is among five finalists for the inaugural Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award.
The annual award was created to recognize a current NBA player for pursuing social justice efforts and and upholding the league’s decades-long values of equality, respect, and inclusion.
The other finalists are Portland forward Carmelo Anthony, Sacramento forward Harrison Barnes, Milwaukee guard and former Sixer Jrue Holiday, and Golden State forward Juan Toscano-Anderson.
Throughout 2020, Harris used his voice and platform to speak out against systemic injustice and racism, marching in protest of police brutality, calling for reform while in the NBA bubble and reflecting on racial injustice in The Players’ Tribune.
In addition, the Tobias Harris Charitable Fund has awarded $2 million to promote educational equity. For instance, this year he awarded $300,000 to the School District of Philadelphia to recruit teachers from HBCUs or diverse backgrounds.
In addition, his Lit Labs program, which focuses on improving reading scores among students of diverse backgrounds, has distributed 30,000 books to 8,000 Philadelphia children to prevent summer reading gaps.
The winner among the five NBA finalists will select an organization to receive a $100,000 contribution on his behalf. The other four finalists will each select an organization to receive a $25,000 contribution.
Harris, who will turn 29 on July 15, is in his 10th -- and arguably his best -- season in the NBA. He entered Friday averaging 23.9 points in his first seven playoff games this season.
Outside basketball, he has long been known for his community service, and in 2018-2019 he was among 10 finalists for the NBA Community Assist Award.