Indiana Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell received the Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award thanks to her countless contributions off the court.
The award, named after WNBA legend Dawn Staley, was created to celebrate a WNBA player who best displays the characteristics of a leader in the community.
The distinction and its winner reflect Staley’s enthusiasm, leadership, philanthropic efforts, presence in the community and passion for advancing the game.
A designated committee chose Mitchell amongst a multitude of great WNBA players as the winner of the Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award on June 5.
Mitchell has been a prominent figure in Cincinnati and Indianapolis, participating in many events in both cities throughout the year.
The Indiana Fever guard supported many community efforts. Some include the Million Meal Marathon, toy drives, food banks and numerous other philanthropic, academic and athletic endeavors.
Mitchell participated in a month-long course at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. This helped her earn an Athlete to Advocate Professional Certificate.
“As a player in the WNBA, we are always pushing to be recognized for what we can accomplish both on and off the court,” Mitchell said.
She went on to explain what the Dawn Staley Award means to her.
“The Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award is the pinnacle of what it means to be ‘more than an athlete’. It is upon all of us to inspire the next generation to be the best people they can possibly be throughout all of our communities,” Mitchell said.
“I will carry the responsibility as a Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award winner with immense pride.”
WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert praised The Indiana Fever standout for her countless contributions to the game and the community.
“The WNBA is extremely proud to see Kelsey recognized for her volunteer work and community impact,” Engelbert said.
“Kelsey’s work with young people and families in her community continues to make an enormous positive influence, and she echoes the example set by Dawn Staley as a role model in sports.”
As a recipient of the award, Mitchell’s KelzHoop Foundation will receive a $10,000 donation.
Contact multi-media staff writer Noral Parham III at (317)-762-7846 or e-mail at NoralP@IndyRecorder.com. Follow him on Twitter @NoralParham.