The Long Island Nets, NBA G League affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets, have received the NBA G League Social Responsibility Award for the third consecutive year.
The award recognizes excellence in team business and social responsibility, with the winner chosen by league and team executives, and this year the Nets were awarded for their Black History Month celebrations during the 2021-22 season.
The LI Nets commemorated Black History Month by sharing local resources and amplifying educational opportunities for youth and teen organizations throughout the month of February. The team tipped off the month by partnering with the Julius and Joysetta Pearse African American Museum of Nassau County to host 30 students from the Yes We Can Community Center after-school program for a private tour. The museum – only one of two African American museums in the northeast – features programing such as themed exhibits that focus on Black historical figures, events, and art.
The LI Nets continued their work in the community throughout Black History Month by hosting a virtual panel discussion for students across Long Island as a part of their award-winning Team Up for Unity program – created in 2021 to end racism in high school sports on Long Island. The conversation focused on intersectionality centered around Black voices, and panelists included New York Liberty guard and 2021 WNBA All-Star, Betnijah Laney; New York Liberty forward and 2021 Rookie of the Year, Michaela Onyenwere; Vice President for Student Life and Campus Services at St. Joseph's College, Shantey Hill; and Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion and Player Relations at the New York Mets, Donovan Mitchell Sr.
"It is imperative we continue to use our platform to uplift the communities around us," said Alton Byrd, Senior Vice President of Growth Properties at BSE Global, parent company of the Long Island Nets. "The Long Island Nets are honored to be recognized by the NBA G League for our efforts to expose and engage youth with cultural resources and educational opportunities across Long Island."
The LI Nets received the league's Social Responsibility Award award in 2020-21 for their "Team Up for Unity" series and in 2019-20 for local community outreach and youth basketball initiatives.