Suns’ Cam Payne named finalist for NBA’s Community Assist Award

May 10, 2023, 8:00 PM

Cameron Payne #15 of the Phoenix Suns in the third quarter at Arena on April 06, 2022 in...

Cameron Payne #15 of the Phoenix Suns in the third quarter at Arena on April 06, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns guard Cam Payne is one of 10 finalists for the NBA’s Bob Lanier Community Assist Award, which recognizes a player’s efforts to make a positive impact off the court.

Payne made the cut after winning the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for the month of December.

The other finalists are Chicago’s Alex Caruso, Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez, Dallas’ Dwight Powell, Philadelphia’s James Harden, New York’s Julius Randle, San Antonio’s Keita Bates-Diop, Boston’s Marcus Smart, Milwaukee’s Pat Connaughton and Philadelphia’s Tyrese Maxey.

The winner will be determined by an online fan vote and an NBA executive panel.

Payne was recognized this season for his work over the course of the NBA Cares’ “Season of Giving.” He hosted his second annual “Cam Payne’s 15 families of Christmas” event in which he provided dinner and gifts from the wish lists of 15 families from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona.

He also gave $250 gift cards to Fry’s Food Stores for each family that participated.

Payne also took 20 kids from Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation and Solano’s No Limit Hoops on a shopping trip to Target.

His holiday season continued with a $10,000 donation to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis — his hometown — on Dec. 26.

Payne previously served Thanksgiving dinner to 50 mentors and mentees from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona at Footprint Center.

Fans can vote until May 21 at 8:59 p.m.

A $25,000 donation will be made by the NBA on the winning player’s behalf to an organization of his choosing.

Payne is in contention to become the second Suns player to win the annual award in three seasons after Devin Booker did so in 2020-21.

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