Knicks to Honor Founder of Harlem Nonprofit Organization with “City Spirit” Award

New York, NY (December 30, 2016) - The New York Knickerbockers have announced Founder and Executive Director of “Hands That Make a Difference,” Lisa Fields-Linnen, 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 $5,000 donation in his or her name made out to a charity of their choice.


“Hands That Make a Difference” provides a safe haven for vulnerable and at-risk Harlem youth, ages 6-21, with programs and activities that help build character and enhance self-esteem, while exposing them to experiences that typically aren’t available to them due to the unfortunate circumstances of their environment. The organization started out with a small group of volunteers, spearheaded by Fields-Linnen, helping out in the community and later received funds to operate an after school program. ”Hands That Make a Difference” is expanding to help adults find their way back into the work place by hosting programs that will develop the skills they need to regain employment.


Monday, when the Knicks host the Orlando Magic, Fields-Linnen will accept the Sweetwater Clifton “City Spirit” Award, presented by Knicks Legend John Starks and ZTE USA Chairman and CEO, Lixin Cheng, at center court of Madison Square Garden. Lisa 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 the “Hands That Make a Difference”.


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


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