Knicks to Honor “Harlem Grown” Founder with “City Spirit” Award

Harlem Grown Provided Over 2,500 Harlem Families with Fresh Produce


New York, NY (November 11, 2016) - The New York Knickerbockers have announced Founder and Executive Director of Harlem Grown Tony Hillery, as this month’s Sweetwater Clifton "City Spirit" Award winner. The award, presented by ZTE USA, is named in honor of Basketball Hall-of-Famer Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton, the first African-American to play for the Knicks, recognizes individuals who have made a significant difference in the lives of others. Each month a winner is chosen by members of the Knicks front office staff and honored at center court during a Knicks game with a $2,000 donation in his or her name made out to a charity of their choice.
Harlem Grown is a non-profit organization, founded in 2011, that inspires youth to live healthy and ambitious lives through mentorship and hands-on education in urban farming, sustainability, and nutrition. While volunteering, Hillery noticed a lack of healthy resources allocated to schools and the students’ poor nutrition, rallied volunteers and raised funds to transform an abandoned community garden into a thriving urban garden, full of fresh fruits and vegetables.

“Harlem Grown” now partners with six public schools, mentoring over 1,900 students in nutrition and healthy living behaviors. The organization operates eight urban farming facilities in Central Harlem and plans to break ground with a new location this year, continuing their mission to reach Harlem youth and inspire them to live healthier lives.

On Monday, when the Knicks host the Dallas Mavericks, Hillery will accept the Sweetwater Clifton “City Spirit” Award, presented by Knicks Legend John Starks and ZTE Senior Vice President of North American Marketing, Samuel Shen, at center court of Madison Square Garden. Tony will also receive a ZTE Spro 2 Smart Projector on behalf of ZTE USA, the official Smartphone of the New York Knicks. The award money will be donated to “Harlem Grown”.

To nominate your hero, or to read more about this month’s winners and other past winners, please visit


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