The Cancer Support Community has announced that professional basketball player and Olympic silver medalist Ricky Rubio will receive the 2022 Marin Mazzie Award for Empowerment, named in honor of the three-time Tony nominee.
Originally named the Founders Award for Empowerment, the award was renamed for Mazzie, who passed away from ovarian cancer, in 2018. Mazzie was a fierce supporter of the Cancer Support Community and of their mission to uplift people living with cancer and their loved ones. Her leadership was honored with a special Tony Award in 2019.
The Marin Mazzie Award for Empowerment recognizes public figures who use their platform to both advocate for and inspire people who are living with cancer. Previous recipients include Broadway actress Ashley Park (2019), television actress Marcia Cross (2020), and television host Craig Melvin (2021).
Ricky Rubio began his career as the youngest rookie in the Liga Endesa (Spanish ACB League) at 14, before winning his first Olympic medal at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. Since 2011 he has been a member of the NBA, playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Utah Jazz, the Phoenix Suns, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Indiana Pacers. In 2019, he led the Spanish National Team at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Cuba, where he was selected as the MVP.
Rubio lost his mother to lung cancer in 2016, after which he formed the Ricky Rubio Foundation, which supports underprivileged youth, disabled youth, and those impacted by cancer (with an emphasis on supporting those affected by lung cancer).
“I know Marin would be delighted that Ricky Rubio is this year’s recipient. He is not only an incredible athlete, but also a genuinely caring person who gives his all both on the basketball court and on behalf of those living with cancer. The way he works every day to make his mother proud is especially touching,” said Jason Danieley, Marin Mazzie's husband and continued champion of CSC.
“Ricky Rubio’s work with his foundation is a shining example of an athlete leveraging their platform to make a difference,” said Debbie Weir, CEO of the Cancer Support Community. “One of the most personal issues that Ricky works on is advocacy for lung cancer patients. In honor of his late mother, he shows boundless care for those living with the disease. His passion for speaking out against the stigma associated with lung cancer and spreading awareness of the importance of early detection is remarkable. He truly lives up to the high standard Marin set for all of us.”
The Cancer Support Community will recognize Rubio at its annual celebration May 12. This year’s celebration will also mark the organization’s 40th anniversary.
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