NEW ORLEANS – The National Basketball Association today announced that New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday is the recipient of the 2019-20 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award.
The Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award recognizes the NBA player deemed the best teammate based on selfless play, on- and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players, and commitment and dedication to his team. A panel of league executives selected six players from each conference with current players voting for one overall winner.
The award is named for Basketball Hall of Famers Maurice Stokes and Jack Twyman, friends and teammates on the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals from 1955 until 1958. In the final game of the 1957-58 season, Stokes suffered an on-court brain injury, fell into a coma days later and was left permanently paralyzed. Diagnosed with posttraumatic encephalopathy, which damaged his motor-control center, Stokes was supported for the rest of his life by Twyman, who became his legal guardian and advocate.
“There isn’t a more deserving player nor one that better embodies what this award signifies, on and off the court, than Jrue Holiday,” said Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin. “Jrue’s concern for and connection to his community is at the heart of everything we want this organization to represent. The work that he and his wife Lauren have done locally in New Orleans, as well as in Southern California and Indiana cannot go unnoticed, and his willingness to donate his full remaining salary following the restart of the 2019-2020 season to the ongoing fight for social justice further demonstrates what type of human being Jrue is. We are honored and grateful that Jrue is part of our Pelicans family.”
On July 15, Holiday announced that he would donate the remainder of his 2019-20 season salary to start a social justice fund with his wife, Lauren. The Jrue and Lauren Holiday Social Justice Impact Fund aims to combat systemic racism and address social and economic inequalities across communities in New Orleans, the Los Angeles area and Indianapolis. The funds will also support local Black-led non-profit organizations, citywide initiatives that seek to bring about equitable outcomes for Black and Brown communities, and historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) of higher education.
Holiday is the first player in Pelicans franchise history to earn Teammate of the Year honors, and becomes the eighth player in league history to win the award, joining Chauncey Billups (2013), Shane Battier (2014), Tim Duncan (2015), Vince Carter (2016), Dirk Nowitzki (2017), Jamal Crawford (2018) and Mike Conley Jr. (2019).