Mike Terry, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Deron Williams was named the NBA's Western Conference player of the month in November in part for the many highlight-reel assists he made for the Utah Jazz.
Now Williams has been honored by the league for the off-the-court assists he made around town.
On Monday, the All-Star point guard received the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for the first month of the season — a recognition that highlights his community charity efforts and philanthropic work accomplished through his Point of Hope Foundation.
Williams and his wife, Amy, hosted a Thanksgiving Dinner at EnergySolutions Arena the day before the holiday for 3,300 people in Salt Lake City. Williams worked with the Salt Lake City Mission and Utah Food Services to provide the meal for children, families and other people in need.
"There are so many different causes, so many different diseases, so many people who have problems," Williams said in a statement released by the NBA of his foundation's broad reach. "Point of Hope is just about helping people, and kids, especially. I'm blessed to be able to give back."
In early December, the Williamses also hosted a special Christmas dinner and gave gifts to 60 single mothers and their children.
Money for these events was raised by Williams' annual golf event and auction, sponsored by his foundation, which he launched in 2007.
In previous years, Williams has reached out to help other organizations close to his heart, including juvenile diabetes, autism and cancer.
Williams will be awarded a David Robinson Plaque for winning the NBA Cares Community Assist Award with the inscription: "Following the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson who improved the community piece by piece." The Point of Hope Foundation will also receive a $5,000 donation from the NBA on his behalf.
The league presents the NBA Cares Community Assist Award monthly throughout the season and once following each offseason to recognize players for their year-round charitable efforts, a news release stated. NBA players are honored for best reflecting the passion that the league and its players have for giving back to their communities.
Amy Williams said being able to assist in charitable efforts is her favorite part of her husband's profession.
"This is far more rewarding than just playing basketball," she told the Deseret News at the annual Christmas dinner. "The best part of being who he is, is the impact and difference he can make."
INJURY REPORT: Williams (sprained right wrist) and Andrei Kirilenko (strained lower back) are listed as day-to-day after suffering injuries in the setback. ... For Portland, Marcus Camby left in the third with a sprained right ankle after pulling down 12 boards.
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