SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield announced on Tuesday they will be working with rapper and actor Ice Cube to create a new award.

The Hall of Fame held a virtual press conference Tuesday to make the announcement. The ‘Ice Cube Impact Award’ will be given to someone that works to improve their community and uses basketball as a tool to help kids.

The first award will be given to Ice Cube during the Spalding HoopHall Classic event this January in Springfield. Ice Cube will be in Springfield on Martin Luther King Day to accept the award during an event at the Hall of Fame. The HoopHall Classic will be held between January 11 and 15 at the Blake Arena at Springfield College.

Ice Cube is receiving the first award for his passion of the game, his commitment to encouraging crucial dialogues surrounding inclusivity, equal opportunity, and racial and social justice while contributing to initiatives focused on education and community development. 

“The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Award named in my honor is truly remarkable, and words alone can’t express my gratitude for this recognition from such a prestigious organization,” said Ice Cube. “Having an award bearing my name only intensifies my commitment to advancing inclusivity and equal opportunity in sports, alongside my unwavering dedication to community activism.” 

The Ice Cube Impact Award will be permanently honored inside the Hall of Fame museum and will be added to each year as new people are honored with the award.

Ice Cube showing a photo of him as a kid during a Zoom conference call with the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Ice Cube has a rich history with basketball. He has used the sport in his music and videos. Ice Cube is also the co-founder of BIG3, a 3v3 summer basketball league.

Several Basketball Hall of Fame inductees work with Ice Cube in the BIG3 league as coaches, including Lisa Leslie, Nancy Lieberman, George Gervin, Rick Barry, Julius “Dr. J” Erving and Gary Payton.

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