Ronny Turiaf Wins NBA Cares Community Assist Award
NEW YORK, March 22, 2010 – Golden State Warriors center Ronny Turiaf has been named the recipient of the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for February in recognition of his outstanding efforts in the community and for his ongoing philanthropic and charitable work.
The NBA is honoring Turiaf in part for his ongoing efforts to raise awareness and funding for the prevention, detection, and treatment of life-threatening heart conditions. The cause is a personal one for the Warriors’ center, who suffered from a heart condition and underwent open-heart surgery in 2005. To highlight that February is American Heart Month, Turiaf and his mother, Aline, recently filmed a public service announcement with the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center to raise awareness about heart health and encourage others to get regular checkups and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
He also worked with the American Heart Association (AHA) to launch his new Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Program at an Oakland Boys & Girls Club. As part of the program, Turiaf donated life-saving AEDs to five Bay Area high schools and provided the necessary training for students and school administrators.
In an effort to make a significant impact throughout California, Turiaf has also teamed up with California State Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi and Assemblyman Jerry Hill to support a bill that will require school districts with interscholastic athletic programs to have AEDs. The bill will also mandate that AED-trained personnel be onsite during all athletic practices and contests. Turiaf hopes that by telling his story and lending his support, the bill will get passed.
“I am happy to be in a position that allows me to support a cause that is close to my heart,” said Turiaf. “When I needed help, people were there for me. Through my Heart to Heart Foundation, I will continue to do whatever I can to prevent the tragic loss of life as a result of heart conditions by providing education, equipment, and treatment to individuals and facilities throughout the Bay Area and beyond.”
In 2008, Turiaf established The Ronny Turiaf Heart to Heart Foundation to raise awareness about life-threatening heart conditions and to fund prevention, detection, and treatment for those in need. Through the Foundation, Turiaf provides schools with life-saving devices, including Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), and education and training for students and administrators. The Foundation also raises funds to help individuals who can not afford treatment for their heart conditions.
As the February NBA Community Assist Award recipient, Turiaf will receive the David Robinson Plaque with the inscription, “Following the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson who improved the community piece by piece.” In addition, a $5,000 donation will be given by the NBA on behalf of Turiaf to support the American Heart Association.
The league presents the NBA Cares Community Assist Award monthly to recognize players for their charitable efforts. The award honors the NBA player who best reflects the passion that the league and its players have for giving back to their communities.