(JTA) — Allan Houston, a former All-Star with the New York Knicks and now their assistant general manager, was awarded the 2011Martin Luther King Award from the Consulate General of Israel in New York.
Ido Aharoni, acting consul general of Israel in New York, presented the award Wednesday on the court at Madison Square Garden before the Knicks played the Atlanta Hawks.
Houston was recognized “in honor of his efforts in spreading compassion and uniting communities of all backgrounds,” according to the consulate.
The Consulate General has presented the King award for the past 20 years to individuals and organizations promoting ethnic and cultural understanding. The award is given in conjunction with the Jewish National Fund and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.
“This tribute today honors Allan Houston for his efforts in promoting diversity and tolerance,” Aharoni said. “Allan Houston embodies the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through his work in creating a peaceful coexistence between people of diverse religious, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds.”
Previous honorees include Martin Luther King III, former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, entrepreneur Russell Simmons, opera singer Jessye Norman, author Toni Morrison and jazz legend Lionel Hampton.