A new NBA season started recently, but the league’s mission to support empowerment for the Black community, as demonstrated in the Orlando, Florida, bubble, hasn’t been forgotten.
The first grants are being distributed from the NBA owners’ pledge to give $30 million annually over the next 10 years through the foundation. A total of $2 million in inaugural grants for employment and career advancement were announced Thursday.
Seven organizations — exalt (New York), Management Leadership for Tomorrow (Washington), Marcus Graham Project (Dallas), Operation DREAM (Milwaukee), TEAM Inc. (Oakland, California), The Knowledge House (New York) and the Youth Empowerment Project (New Orleans) — were selected as recipients.
These organizations align with the NBA Foundation’s mission to provide skills training, mentorship, coaching and development for high school, college and midcareer Black men and women in communities across the United States and Canada.
The purpose of the grants is to increase education and employment as well as enhance and grow the work of these organizations.
NBA senior vice president of player development Greg Taylor has been selected as the foundation’s first executive director. He will begin his new role Jan. 4.
“As a proud member of the NBA family, I am honored to be selected to lead the NBA Foundation in its development,” Taylor said in a statement. “During my time at the league, I have been inspired by the efforts of NBA players, teams and governors to advocate for change, and I look forward to using my experience working with non-profits to further our investment in the next generation of Black leaders.”
The foundation’s inaugural board of directors was named in October, including Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes, New Orleans Pelicans governor Gayle Benson, Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris, Charlotte Hornets chairman Michael Jordan, Atlanta Hawks principal owner Tony Ressler, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NBA board of governors chairman and Toronto Raptors governor Larry Tanenbaum.