Ice Cube has earned plenty of plaudits during his nearly four-decade career, from a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and his spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with N.W.A. and BET Hip-Hop Awards hardware. But on Tuesday (Nov. 14) the rap legend was humbled when the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced the inaugural Ice Cube Impact Award.
“Basketball has had a positive impact on my life in so many ways. Thank you to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for establishing the ‘Ice Cube Impact Award,’ which will honor those who work to improve their community by using basketball as a tool to help kids,” tweeted Cube, the founder of the BIG3 basketball league, which pits former NBA and international ballers against each other in fast-paced 3-on-3 competitions. “I’m honored,” added Cube.
In another tweet, Cube wrote that the league — which he launched in 2017 with music manager and business partner Jeff Kwatinetz — was created for basketball fans like him who were tired of the long, hot summers after the end of the NBA finals. “Never in a million years did I think my efforts would land me in the BHOF. Honored & humbled. Thank you,” wrote the lifelong Lakers fan who grew up playing ball at the Inglewood YMCA.
The Hall of Fame said in a statement that the unique collaboration with Cube is aimed at honoring the rapper’s “extraordinary contributions to the world of basketball, his unparalleled passion for the game, and his unwavering 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 Cube Impact Award will be permanently housed at the HOF museum in a dedicated exhibit of each year’s winner featuring “in-depth storytelling about honorees who use basketball as a platform for good works in their own communities.”
“Ice Cube’s unquestionable passion for the game and his desire to see it utilized as a catalyst for positive impact on communities are unwavering,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the basketball HOF in a statement. “His sphere of influence in both the entertainment industry and in the professional sports arena brings remarkable authenticity and value to this award. We are delighted to join hands with Ice Cube as he leverages his love of the game to inspire others. The Ice Cube Impact Award will stand as a testament to the power of basketball and the profound impact it can have on communities worldwide.”
Cube also got major props from his son, actor O’Shea Jackson Jr., who tweeted about his dad’s legendary grind. “You can not stop him! You can only hope to contain him! I’m so shook right now dude this is amazing news,” Jackson Jr. wrote. “Y’all don’t understand what he goes through man. The grind this dude has is just unreal. Dad I can’t wait to hug you man. Yo this is so incredible. What you do, not only for us as a family, but for others as well is so admirable. I really do have the greatest dad in the world. This man scores one triple double with his friends. And now he landed in the BHOF lol.”
Junior thanked the Naismith HOF for honoring his dad’s contributions to the game we all love. “I cant wait to see the future winners of this award,” he said. “As his son, i am overwhelmed with joy. As a fan of basketball, I am relieved that positive growth for the game is acknowledged.”
The Ice Cube Impact Award will be presented to Cube at the Naismith HOF on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 15) in Springfield, Massachusetts.
See Cube’s tweet and the props from his son and fellow hip-hop icons below.