By Adam Roberts – 10/6/2020
Giannis Antetokoumnpo was named the NBA’s MVP for the second straight season this year despite an earlier than expected playoff exit for the Bucks in the bubble. And now, another Buck is receiving an honor for their work off the court.
The Bucks’ George Hill was one of five players honored by the NBA by receiving the Cares Community Assist Award, an honor given to players who have excelled in community engagement, philanthropic activity, and charity work.. Hill has been outspoken about social injustice and led the Bucks in sitting out their playoff game against the Magic. “You can win a championship, but the amount of fulfillment that I get knowing I impacted a whole community is bigger than a championship for me,” Hill said.
The Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha was perhaps the watershed moment for social justice in the NBA while play was occurring (the death of George Floyd could certainly take that spot, but that happened while the league was suspended), and Hill was the primary voice when it came to planning the eventual boycott of Bucks-Magic Game Four back in August. Hill was vocal from the onset; when asked what players could do in response, Hill noted that entering the bubble neutered the players’ abilities to do much about the incident. But Hill’s efforts led to a conversation between the Bucks and state officials on criminal justice reform.
Hill also operates a youth mentorship program in Milwaukee “George’s Gentlemen”, geared at helping students in city public schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.