Good Morning, Illini Nation: Ayo Dosunmu earns NBA community service award

Oct. 27—Welcome to "Good Morning, Illini Nation," your daily dose of college basketball news from Illini beat writer and AP Top 25 voter Scott Richey. He'll offer up insights every morning on Brad Underwood's team:

Former Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu was named the NBA Cares Bob Lanier Community Assist Award offseason winner Thursday. Now in his third season with the Chicago Bulls, Dosunmu was honored for his work with Chicago youth.

Ayo learning he was named the @NBACares offseason Community Assist Award winner ❤️

— Bulls Community (@bullscommunity) October 26, 2023

Dosunmu's offseason work in his hometown community included a youth basketball clinic in May and his second annual "Ayo's Block Party" in July in honor of his friend Darius Brown, who was killed as the result of gun violence when they were younger. Dosunmu also held a back-to-school pep rally at his grade school alma mater, Beardsley Academic Center, in August with the promise of Bulls tickets for honor roll students, and in September he helped more than 350 students at Philip Randolph Elementary School get new sneakers.

"This recognition means the world to me, not just as a basketball player, but as a proud representative of this incredible city," Dosunmu said in an official release. "Being able to give back to the same city that raised me and made me the man I am today is an unforgettable feeling. I dedicate this award to the youth of Chicago — dream fearlessly and stay focused, and the opportunities will be endless."