Phoenix Mercury’s point guard Briann January has received the May WNBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by State Farm for supporting homeless families in Phoenix, working as a role model for young, at-risk girls, and helping in the LGBTQ+ community through her generosity and empathy throughout the month of May.
January tipped off the 2019 WNBA season by displaying her commitment to giving back to the Phoenix community. She partnered with Save The Family to take a family overcoming homelessness on a shopping spree, which included groceries and essential living needs.
January also visited a basketball camp, which female officers from the Phoenix Police Department organized, geared towards at-risk girls. Along with Mercury backpacks, she delivered free tickets to the home opener for every girl in attendance. Afterward, she spent time leading the girls in drills and discussing the importance of attending college and receiving an education.
In celebration of the home opener, January spoke before and after the game with a collection of local high school basketball teams that participated in the Mercury’s High School Hoops tour last season. January also provided tickets and private access passes to an LGBTQ+ foster home. Residents of the foster home were able to watch the Mercury play and interact with January post-game. With the group, she discussed her journey of learning to accept who she was as an individual and encouraged the group to embrace the beauty of their differences.
“Community outreach is important to me because serving others helps us grow individually and collectively while strengthening our connectedness and widening our impact,” said January. “I want to do anything that I can do to show someone that I have been in their shoes or that I understand their struggle. That connection can help change someone’s life or give them that encouragement that they need. I am so lucky to be able to use my position as a WNBA player to help form those connections and give back to others.”
The WNBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by State Farm is awarded monthly during the season to the player who best reflects the WNBA’s passion to make a difference in the community. In recognition of January’s efforts, the WNBA and State Farm will donate $5,000 to benefit the Odyssey Youth Movement.
Please visit wnba.com/statefarmcommunityassist for more information on the award and its recipients.