Greater Cleveland Sports Awards

HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR

CONGRATULATIONS 2020 HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR: KEVIN LOVE!

Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers power forward will receive the Humanitarian of the Year Award presented by Union Home Mortgage during the 21st Greater Cleveland Sports Awards presented by Medical Mutual and Ancora on Thursday, March 4, 2021, aired on WKYC TV 3, wkyc.com and SportsTime Ohio.  

In 2018, Love published an essay in The Players’ Tribune which detailed his personal struggles with mental illness including anxiety, depression and experiencing a panic attack during a NBA game.

“I know so many people out there are suffering right now,” said Love in the essay.  “I’m no different. I’m still going through it.”

HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR

Since sharing his experiences, Love has created the Kevin Love Fund (KLF) which works to inspire people to live their healthiest lives and provide resources to improve physical and emotional well-being, with the goal of assisting one billion people over the next five years.

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Love has continued to shed light on the difficulties of dealing with mental health challenges during this isolating and stressful time.  On March 12, 2020, his foundation donated $100,000 to help financially support staff of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and the Cavaliers affected by the loss of work during the pandemic.

Additionally, KLF sent a truckload of lunches to the staff of the Cleveland Clinic's Medical Intensive Care Unit and its COVID-19 testing sites and appeared by FaceTime to personally thank healthcare workers.

HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR

“We are very excited to award Cleveland Cavalier Kevin Love with Humanitarian of the Year,” said David Gilbert, President and CEO of Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. “This first-year award which recognizes sports leaders who give back to our community, was incredibly important to us coming off such a difficult year for so many. Love’s commitment to help other with their mental health, willingness to provide financial aid and support front line workers is truly inspirational.”  

In recognition of his efforts to helping others struggling with mental illnesses, Love was honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award during the 2020 ESPYs, an honor that highlights individuals in sports who have made a global impact on society.

“It was an absolute honor to receive this award and I am incredibly humbled by it. In telling my story, if I can help just one child that is suffering to make sense of what they are experiencing, I know my efforts have been worth it,” said Love of his Arthur Ashe honors. “And I hope one day we are able to erase the stigma around mental illness, starting with public conversations around mental health and encouraging people to seek help when they need it, followed by research, action, and change.”

HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR

Following this recognition, Love announced KLF was pledging $500,000 to his alma mater, UCLA, to establish the Kevin Love Fund Chair in UCLA’s psychology department to help diagnose, prevent, treat and destigmatize anxiety and depression.

Kevin Love is an NBA Champion (2016), five-time NBA All-Star (2011, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2018) and an Olympic gold medalist.

This 13-year NBA veteran has used his platform to propel the conversation surrounding mental health far beyond the court, inspiring athletes and fans around the world to share their personal mental health struggles and resources on how to cope.

Humanitarian of the Year Award presented by Union Home Mortgage is given to an individual whose philanthropic efforts have had a tremendous positive impact on the Cleveland community beyond the field of sport.

https://www.uhm.com/

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