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Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Utah Jazz player Ricky Rubio visits with Ivy Simmons at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. Simmons is preparing for her third open heart surgery.
If I want to do something in this life, it's to make this world better, —Ricky Rubio

SALT LAKE CITY — Jazz guard Ricky Rubio continues to throw dimes to the Utah community.

The NBA has certainly noticed and honored the floor general with the November NBA Cares Community Assist Award on Friday.

The award recognizes an NBA player each month who reflects the passion the league and its players share for giving back to their communities, according to a press release.

Rubio has been adamant about raising awareness and supporting research for lung cancer after unexpectedly losing his mother, Tona Vives, to the disease on May 26, 2016.

He also runs youth camps, has visited the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City and has donated tickets to Special Olympics participants and cancer patients for his “Ricky Rubio Lung Cancer Awareness Night” on Nov. 25 against the Milwaukee Bucks.

“If I want to do something in this life, it’s to make this world better,” Rubio told the Deseret News. “One of the ways is impacting the kids by letting them have fun but at the same time teaching them some values.”

NBA Cares ambassador Bob Lanier will present Rubio with the award ahead of Saturday’s home game versus the Cleveland Cavaliers in an on-court ceremony.

Kaiser Permanente will also give $10,000 to the 5 for the Fight Foundation on Rubio’s behalf. Rubio is an ambassador of the foundation, which raises money for cancer research and is patched on the Jazz jerseys as a sponsorship deal through Utah-based Qualtrics.

“My mother was a fighter, and it’s in her memory that I fight every day to raise awareness for lung cancer research and give hope to those battling this terrible disease,” Rubio said. “I’m honored to partner with organizations who are doing this work and remain committed to fighting alongside them to find a cure.”