Alex Caruso always has valued community service. On Friday, the Chicago Bulls guard drew recognition for it.
Caruso received the NBA Cares Community Assist award for January. In a release, the NBA said Caruso earned the honor "in recognition of his effort to address food insecurity, provide essential elements for those in need and create memorable experiences for youth" in his community. That community included Paris this month because the Bulls played the Detroit Pistons in an overseas game, at which Caruso led a youth clinic.
"It's special to win the Community Assist award because I've always been a person that said if I ever had a chance to give back, I was going to do it," Caruso said in a statement. "We have a lot of privilege and a lot of responsibility to hold ourselves to a high standard and help people that are in need. That's just the way I was raised, and I think that's something really cool that I'm able to do now."
In January, Caruso donated $10,000 to Dion's Chicago Dream, a local non-profit organization that addressed food insecurity. The National Basketball Players Association matched Caruso's donation, and, according to the NBA's release, 20 local households are now fully secure for 2023.
Caruso also participated in the Mikva Challenge's Neighborhood Leadership Initiative during a Bulls home game against the Atlanta Hawks. Youth from the program and the families attended the game in a United Center suite, and Caruso funded the donation of coats and clothes to 500 "migrants, youth and families in need" across three Chicago neighborhoods that the initiative services.
In Paris, Caruso served as a leader at the Her Time To Play youth clinic, staged for 40 youth from Paris Basket 18, a club focused on empowering girls in sports.
Caruso is an avid golfer and golf fan who snuck away during All-Star break to play in Arizona. But in January, he hosted four golf teams from Chicago public high schools at a private event at Five Iron Golf. There, Caruso presented signed memorabilia and custom Bulls merchandise to the student-athletes.
The NBA, which also will donate $10,000 on Caruso's behalf to Dion's Chicago Dream, presents the NBA Cares Community Assist award monthly. It's was originally created to honor the community service legacy of Spurs Hall of Famer David Robinson.
Caruso will be recognized with an on-court ceremony Friday night before the Bulls' game against the Phoenix Suns. Adrienne Scherenzel-Curry, the executive director of Chicago Bulls Charities, will present Caruso with the award.