The announcement was made in part by several students he’s working to help at his former elementary school, Beasley Academic Center. Dosunmu partnered with the school to offer Bulls tickets to every student who makes the honor roll this year. The incentive program is one of several initiatives that earned Dosunmu the Lanier honor, which three Beasley students presented to him Thursday at the Advocate Center.
A Morgan Park product, Dosunmu has been dedicated to community involvement since he gained notoriety as a star guard at Illinois. He spends his summers at home in Chicago and partners with local advocacy groups focused on youth engagement and gun violence prevention.
The NBA recognizes eight players each year through the Community Assist program with seven monthly awards and one offseason award.
Dosunmu was recognized for his work over the summer through the Ayo Dos Foundation, which aims to create safe third spaces for children in Chicago.
He partnered with Black Kids Predict and Beyond the Ball to host basketball clinics for 180 local children this summer, donating $5,000 grant donations to both Beyond the Ball and Urban Male Network. He also hosted a second-annual block party to honor his childhood friend Darius Brown, who was shot and killed in 2011. In September, Dosunmu partnered with Nordstrom and Shoes That Fit to donate more than 350 pairs of Nike sneakers to students at Philip Randolph Elementary School.
“That’s what really makes you a good person,” Dosunmu told the Tribune. “Basketball players make a lot of money, but the important thing is how can you use your money, how can you use your image to inspire others? I’m blessed to see both sides of the fence. I want to be using that. I don’t just do it for the cameras. I don’t do it for the popularity contest. I really do it to change the lives of some kids that really never had anything.”