INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Anthem Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Anthem Inc., announced that first-time NBA All-Star and 2018’s “Most Improved Player,” Victor Oladipo is being named the latest Anthem Health Champion for his commitment both on the court and in the community. The Anthem Health Champion Program was designed to create greater awareness for the critical health issues facing communities and recognize individuals who are making a positive impact on the health and wellness of the country; dedicated to leading healthy, active lifestyles and who are inspiring others to do the same.
To join Oladipo in the fight against cancer, the Anthem Foundation has pledged to donate $1,000 to Oladipo’s charity, Dunk Cancer, for each dunk he makes in the 2018/2019 season. The grant will fund cancer research and prevention as well as treatment and support for hundreds of individuals and families touched by cancer. Oladipo will donate a minimum of $100,000 to benefit those affected by this disease.
The Indiana Pacers shooting guard has long been devoted to promoting healthy choices and giving back, but it was after unexpectedly losing his junior high school basketball coach that he realized his passion to make a difference for cancer prevention. In 2013, Oladipo helped establish Dunk Cancer, a charitable initiative that brings the basketball community together through basketball focused fundraising campaigns to help individuals and families affected by cancer and support cancer research to find a cure.
“At Anthem we are committed to creating a better healthcare experience for families across the country and in our communities, and by teaming with organizations and individuals who serve as positive role models we can further amplify this effort,” said Gail K. Boudreaux, President and CEO of Anthem. “We applaud Victor Oladipo for harnessing the skills that have made him successful on the court to benefit people in need off the court; we are pleased to partner with Victor Oladipo as an Anthem Health Champion for his efforts and passion to giving back to communities.”
“I’m honored to be an Anthem Health Champion and passionately committed to helping fund cancer research and support individuals and families affected by this tragic disease to overcome their battles,” said Oladipo. “This initiative motivates me to be even better on the court so I can help those off the court.”
Oladipo attended Indiana University where he played college basketball for the Indiana Hoosiers and was awarded the Adolph Rupp Trophy in 2013 before being drafted to the NBA. Oladipo made his NBA debut with the Orlando Magic as the second overall draft pick in 2013, and he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016. In the summer of 2017, Oladipo became the shooting guard for the Indiana Pacers in which he became a first-time NBA All-Star, led the league in steals, was named 1st Team All-Defense and won the 2018 NBA “Most Improved Player” Award.
Oladipo joins an impressive list of other athletes as an Anthem Health Champion including Billie Jean King, Michael Phelps, CC Sabathia, Eli Manning Glenn Robinson III, and Jake Steinfeld, whose philanthropic work convey the message on improving overall public health.
About the Anthem Foundation
The Anthem Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the inherent commitment of Anthem, Inc. to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These disease states and medical conditions include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Associate Giving program which provides a 50 percent match of associates’ pledges, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. To learn more about the Anthem Foundation, please visit http://www.anthem.foundation and its blog at https://medium.com/anthemfoundation.