I'm still flying back from OKC, but here is the press release from the Kings on the latest honor for Jason Thompson:
SACRAMENTO, CALIF., Apr. 16, 2013 - In honor of one of the NBA's all-time greats, the Sacramento Kings continue to celebrate the legacy of Oscar Robertson, both on and off the court, by awarding the 2013 Oscar Robertson Triple-Double Award to Jason Thompson.
The longest-tenured player on the current Kings roster, Thompson has proven himself a model professional and dedicated steward in the community ever since being selected with the 12th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. Heralded for his hustle, rebounding ability and competitive spirit, JT has cemented his legacy as a fan favorite and respected teammate. Already an active contributor towards the Kings charitable efforts, Thompson broadened his philanthropic footprint after experiencing a personal tragedy a few seasons ago.
In 2010, Thompson suffered the loss of his cousin to heart disease. Tiffany Carroll was only 25-years-old when she lost her life to a condition known as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes. The tragedy inspired Jason to honor Tiffany's memory with the formation of the Jason Thompson Foundation--dedicated to creating healthy lifestyles for children and young adults by providing the resources and social support needed to live each day as active heart-healthy individuals. Thompson shared his passion for the cause by teaming with the American Heart Association to host "Red Night Out" at Sleep Train Arena on April 7 versus Memphis, with a portion of special event ticket proceeds benefitting heart disease research and education. Thompson also takes time to speak with children and students about the importance of developing heart-healthy habits.
The Oscar Robertson Triple-Double Award winner is selected by a panel of local sports media journalists and presented to the deserving Kings player who best exemplifies winning characteristics, both as an athlete and a conscientious citizen active in the community. Deconstructed, the "triple" signifies on-court accomplishments: He is a team leader, embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and plays an outstanding all-around game, whereas the "double" signifies his impact off the court by demonstrating commitment to community service and family.
Heralded as one of the finest players in NBA history, Oscar Robertson left an indelible impression on the league when he averaged a triple-double in 1961-62, posting an astounding 30.8 ppg, 12.8 rpg and 11.4 apg. The feat has not been duplicated since and remains one of sport's most elusive statistical achievements. Robertson finished his career with 181 career triple-doubles, 41 of which he logged during the historic 61-62 campaign, each NBA records. Following his playing days, the "Big O" has channeled his energies into a number of small business ventures while maintaining a robust involvement in the community. He is active in numerous philanthropic activities, including the International Prostate Cancer Foundation, the Boys Club of New York and the National Kidney Foundation, for whom he acts as an advocate for organ donation. Robertson and his wife Yvonne are co-chairs of the University of Cincinnati's $1 billion capital campaign and have also funded the Oscar and Yvonne Robertson Scholarship Fund at the University.
Inaugurated in 2003, the Oscar Robertson Triple-Double Award honor has been bestowed to some of the most recognizable figures in Kings team history, including Chris Webber ('03), Vlade Divac ('04), Peja Stojakovic ('05), Corliss Williamson (a back-to-back recipient in 2006 & 2007) and Thompson's current teammate, Isaiah Thomas ('12). Thompson shares many characteristics with these previous honorees, namely his impact and leadership between the lines and a compassionate, energetic willingness to make a difference beyond them.
Selected out of Rider with the 12th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, Thompson has long been regarded for his steady consistency and reliable durability. He became just the second rookie in Sacramento-era history to play in all 82 games in 2008-09, demonstrating a toughness that continues into his fifth season. Entering play on Wednesday, the Kings longest-tenured player is also the only member of the 2012-13 roster to appear in all 81 games, averaging 10.9 ppg (.503 FG%, .691 FT%), 6.7 rpg, 1.0 apg and 27.9 mpg. Thompson has notched 13 double-doubles and tallied 10 or more points 45 times during the campaign, leading the squad in rebounding on 21 occasions and scoring five times. Thompson appears frequently in the Kings record books for his rebounding prowess, joining Vlade Divac as the only players since 2001 to grab more than 200 offensive rebounds in a season. He registered a double-double in his NBA debut at Minnesota (10/29/08), earning distinction as the only Kings rookie since Jerry Lucas 46 years ago to register a double-double in his first pro game. Thompson also led the Kings in total rebounds (606) during his rookie campaign, joining Lionel Simmons (1990-91) as the only Kings rookies in the Sac-era to lead the team in total rebounds in a season.
In addition to many on-court achievements and establishment of his own Foundation, Thompson also participates regularly in the team's public service efforts, including involvement with the "Kings for the Community" program designed to provide underprivileged fans with tickets to Kings games. As part of the initiative, Thompson hosts deserving local children and community members in a special section of Sleep Train Arena identified by the banner titled "JT's Block Party." He is active during the Kings "Season of Giving" campaign, recently visiting patients at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Sacramento. Since arriving in Northern California five years ago, Thompson has remained a mainstay in the Kings annual charitable campaigns, including Cesar Chavez Day of Volunteerism, Read to Achieve, Get Fit and many more.
Thompson will receive the award in an on-court presentation during the Kings contest on Wednesday versus the L.A. Clippers.