Phoenix Mercury guard Briann January today was awarded the WNBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by State Farm for the month of May, the league has announced. In recognition for her efforts, State Farm will donate $5,000 to the Odyssey Youth Movement, a Spokane-based organization selected by January, who acts as a resource for LGBTQ+ youth.
“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.”
Throughout the month of May, January spent time working with at-risk girls, LGBTQ+ foster home residences, and low-income families in the Phoenix community. During the Mercury’s appearance at Fry’s Food Stores, the Arizona State grad partnered with local non-profit Save the Family to provide a deserving family with a shopping spree for groceries and household items. After taking the family shopping, January spent time with fans, signing autographs and taking photos.
Prior to the Mercury’s home opener on May 31, January sat down to speak with local high school basketball teams that participated in the Mercury’s High School Hoops tour during the WNBA offseason. Additionally, she teamed with officers from the Phoenix Police Department to assist at a basketball camp for at-risk girls. There, January spoke to attendees about the importance of attending college and getting a degree, and provided tickets to the home opener to everyone in attendance at the camp.
January also spent time with residents from a LGBTQ+ foster home, providing them with tickets and postgame passes to the Mercury’s annual PRIDE game. Following the game, she spent time talking with the group about her own personal journey growing up. She shared how she came to accept and love herself as the individual she was, and encouraged them to do the same.
This marks the third time January been awarded the league’s Community Assist Award (August 2015, August 2014) and marks the third consecutive season a Mercury player has been honored with the award (Brittney Griner – June 2017; Diana Taurasi – May 2018).
After coming within one win of trip to the WNBA Finals, the Phoenix Mercury return in 2019 in search of a league-record tying fourth WNBA title. Led by the All-Star trio of Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and DeWanna Bonner, Phoenix looks to continue its title quest on June 28 against Indiana. Tickets for the Mercury’s next home game on Friday, June 28 against the Indiana Fever, and the remaining 13 home games, at Talking Stick Resort Arena can be purchased by calling 602.252.WNBA or by visiting PhoenixMercury.com.