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Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko is NBA’s Good Guy
Sports media is known for tracking stats, making awards and ranking players. And professional sports is known for making young athletes millionaires and often egomaniacs.  With the NBA draft just completed and a new crop of instant millionaires created, I was pleased to discover a sports award that stood out because it rewarded leadership and being the number one “Good Guy” in the NBA.Kirilenko2.jpg

The Sporting News announced that the “NBA Good Guy” award for 2006 goes to Andrei Kirilenko, of the Utah Jazz. Okay, maybe there is not a lot of competition in the NBA for this award but let’s give it up for Kirilenko.

The Russian native not only ranks number one in the NBA in blocks (220), number two in blocks per game (13.9) and finished in the top 20 in six other categories, Kirilenko leads in his willingness to give and make a difference in the lives of people in Russia and the United States.

Kirilenko reaches out to the needs of the less fortunate. According to the Sporting News,

“His work in Russia has particular impact. Of the more than $300,000 he donated to causes last year, more than $100,000 in goods and services went to an orphanage in Moscow that was started by nuns because the state would not deal with disabled children ages 3 to 18.”

He also provided the initial financing to rebuild a children's cancer hospital in St. Petersburg that had serious cleanliness issues, including mold. When the hospital ran out of funds for medicines for leukemia, he gave $10,000 in medicines.

In the United States, Kirilenko helps out single moms, the Utah Food Bank and a local cancer institute.

We hear enough news about athletes and their trouble lives. It is nice to see that Kirilenko not only leads his team on the court but also leads the NBA in helping others.


1 Comments/Trackbacks

thanks for writing about a great athlete and role model for us and our children

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