At the Orlando Magic's annual Black Tie and Tennies Gala on Saturday night, the team announced that Jameer Nelson, its co-captain, was the recipient of the 2013 Rich and Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award. The honor is the first of Nelson's nine-year career with the Magic.
The award is given annually to the Magic player "who has dedicated his efforts off the court for the purpose of enhancing other’s lives," according to a team release, and comes with a $50,000 donation to the charity of the winner's choice. Team co-captain Glen Davis was the other finalist for the award.
During the 2012/13 season, Nelson has made several appearances in the Orlando community to promote charitable causes. Among these appearances are his participation in feeding of Orlando's homeless at a Thanksgiving breakfast and donating holiday gifts to two families of six. Nelson has also donated 600 tickets to the Magic's Player Ticket Program, helping children at Elevate Orlando to attend the Magic's home games.
Dwight Howard won the award outright in four of the last five seasons, and he shared it with J.J. Redick in 2012. Nick Anderson was the first recipient of the award in 1996.
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