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NBA All-Star: Chris Paul wins inaugural Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award

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Chris Paul will be honored with the first-ever Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award during the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday in Cleveland, the WNBA announced.

The new award will honor those who advocate for the WNBA and women’s basketball. Paul received the inaugural award for using his platform to elevate WNBA players’ success on the court and in their social justice efforts. His CP3 Basketball Academy supports girls basketball players.

Paul and teammate Deandre Ayton also purchased tickets for the Phoenix Mercury’s playoff run for fans on a first-come, first-served basis last fall.

“I have seen first-hand Chris’ appreciation of the WNBA and the game at every level for women and girls, especially in Phoenix and North Carolina, and his ardent support of our game strongly reflects the legacy of Kobe and Gigi,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a release. “The league is proud to name Chris as the inaugural recipient of the Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award, as he serves as a leader and role model for other professional athletes around growing the future of the game for young girls and all fans.”

Vanessa Bryant will present the award to Paul on Sunday. The WNBA also will donate to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in memory of Kobe and Gigi.

Phoenix Suns players, including Chris Paul, attend the 2021 WNBA semifinals between the Phoenix Mercury and the Las Vegas Aces at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns players, including Chris Paul, attend the 2021 WNBA semifinals between the Phoenix Mercury and the Las Vegas Aces at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)