Internationally Renowned Athlete Ricky Rubio to be Honored by the Cancer Support Community

April 25, 2022

Rubio will receive the 2022 Marin Mazzie Award for Empowerment

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 25, 2022 The Cancer Support Community (CSC) has announced that award-winning professional basketball player and Olympic silver medalist Ricky Rubio will be the recipient of the 2022 Marin Mazzie Award for Empowerment, named in honor of Theater Hall of Fame inductee, three-time Tony nominee, and CSC Champion Marin Mazzie, who passed away of ovarian cancer in 2018. 

CSC will recognize Rubio at its annual celebration in New York City on Thursday, May 12. The in-person event will begin at 6 p.m. ET. This year’s celebration also marks the organization’s 40th anniversary.

Originally named the Founders Award for Empowerment, in 2018 the award was renamed for the beloved Broadway legend after she passed away from ovarian cancer. Mazzie was a staunch supporter of CSC and actively advanced its mission to support people living with cancer and their loved ones. Her leadership and advocacy for women’s health issues, in particular ovarian cancer awareness, was honored with a special Tony Award in 2019. The Marin Mazzie Award for Empowerment honors her legacy by recognizing public figures who use their platform to both advocate for and inspire people who are living with cancer. Her husband, Broadway star Jason Danieley, continues to be a champion for CSC and a resolute advocate for cancer patients and caregivers.

“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 Danieley.

Beginning his professional career as the youngest rookie in the Liga Endesa (Spanish ACB League) at the age of 14, Rubio is a pillar in the international basketball community. After winning various awards, including the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Europe Young Player of the Year award three years in a row and the EuroLeague Championship, he won his first Olympic medal at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. Since making his NBA debut with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2011, Rubio has since played for the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Indiana Pacers. In 2019, he led the Spanish National Team at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China, where he was selected as the tournament’s MVP.

In addition to his 10-year NBA tenure, Ricky Rubio's extraordinary career as an athlete transcended beyond the basketball court after losing his mother to lung cancer. In her honor, he established The Ricky Rubio Foundation which for the past four years has been actively helping underprivileged youth, disabled youth, and those impacted by cancer, especially lung cancer. Rubio follows in the footsteps of 2021 honoree NBC News Today host and patient advocate Craig Melvin. Previous honorees are actress Marcia Cross, who was the 2020 recipient and Tony-nominee and star of Netflix’s Emily in Paris, and Ashley Park, who received the inaugural Marin Mazzie Award in 2019.

“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.”

CSC’s 2022 Annual Celebration will be held in person on May 12 at 6 p.m. ET. This year's celebration will be hosted by Alysia Reiner, best known for her role as Fig on Orange Is the New Black, and David Alan Basche, who played the lead on The Exes on TV Land. The evening will feature inspiring honorees, touching stories, and a memorable performance by Krysta Rodriguez, a Broadway veteran and star of the Netflix limited series Halston.


About the Cancer Support Community

As the largest professionally led nonprofit network of cancer support worldwide, the Cancer Support Community (CSC), including its Gilda’s Club affiliates, is dedicated to ensuring that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community. CSC achieves its mission through three areas: direct service delivery, research, and advocacy. The organization’s Institute for Excellence in Psychosocial Care includes an international network of affiliates that offers the highest quality social and emotional support for people impacted by cancer, as well as a community of support available online and over the phone. The Research and Training Institute conducts cutting-edge psychosocial, behavioral, and survivorship research. CSC furthers its focus on patient advocacy through its Cancer Policy Institute, informing public policy in Washington, D.C., and across the nation.