ATLANTA: Tristan Thompson is one of seven finalists for the prestigious J. Walter Kennedy Award, awarded annually by the Pro Basketball Writers Association to the player, coach or trainer who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community.
Thompson joins a list that includes the New York Knicks' Tyson Chandler, the Chicago Bulls' Luol Deng, the Denver Nuggets' Kenneth Faried, the Atlanta Hawks' Kyle Korver, the Golden State Warriors' David Lee and the Boston Celtics' Jason Terry.
Thompson created "Giving Thanks in Tristan's Town" during Thanksgiving, purchasing turkeys and groceries for 150 families from Historic Greater Friendship Baptist Church in Cleveland. He helped distribute the meals along with game tickets.
Thompson has also raised funds for CYF and pediatric epilepsy, worked on behalf of the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center and is always willing to fulfill requests to the community service department. He has helped with events at the Children's Rehab Hospital, Harvest for Hunger food drive and participated in the filming of a Valentine's Day video for women whose military husbands were deployed.
This is the second season he has purchased season tickets for donation to underserved children in the community (Tristan's Town) and next season he will launch a new education program "BLOCKS 13" in the public school system for students in grades 6-8. BLOCKS 13 focuses on Behavior, Leadership, Opportunity, Character, Knowledge and Success, a program developed by Thompson to help at-risk children stay on the right track in school.
The winner will be announced in May as part of the league's postseason awards. The J. Walter Kennedy Award has been issued every year since 1974-75. Austin Carr (1980) and Eric Snow (2005) have previously won the award while playing for the Cavs.