2024 NY Knicks City Spirit Award

Sponsored by HUB International at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The New York Knicks and HUB International proudly celebrated U.S. Marine Sergeant Dre Popow, a decorated combat veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, as the esteemed recipient of the 2024 'Sweetwater Clifton - City Spirit Award' for his humanitarian service as a member of Veterans Rebuilding Life.

Managing Director of Veterans Rebuilding Life, Christian Zamora, accepted the award on Dre Popow’s behalf at Madison Sq. Garden with Knicks alumnus John Wallace, Queens Councilman Robert Holden and HUB International's Jason White.

Paying tribute to Basketball Hall-of-Famer Nat Sweetwater Clifton, the Knicks’ first African American player, acknowledges those who have significantly impacted the lives of others. In honor of Popow’s outstanding contributions, the Knicks and HUB International generously donated $10,000 to Veterans Rebuilding Life.

Veterans Rebuilding Life partners.
Left: Christian Zamora, Center: Queens Councilman Robert Holden, Right: HUB International and Marine Corps Veteran Jason White.

Christian Zamora, the co-founder and Managing Director of Veterans Rebuilding Life, graciously accepted the award on behalf of Dre Popow at Madison Square Garden. The ceremony, held on Sunday, November 12th, featured the presentation by Knicks alumnus John Wallace, Queens Councilman Robert Holden, and U.S. Marine Veteran Jason White, a Senior Claims Consultant at HUB International.

Left: Marine Sgt. Dre Popow, and Master Sgt. Moses Allen, combat veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

Kevin Bradley, HUB’s Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community, expressed enthusiasm in recognizing the 2024 ‘City Spirit’ Award recipient. He highlighted Dre’s pivotal role in supporting the communities Veterans Rebuilding Life is established and operates from. Bradley emphasized the inspirational leadership and unwavering commitment demonstrated by individuals like Dre, citing his passion for fostering opportunities and addressing humanitarian challenges.

Veterans Rebuilding Life
From Right: VRL members Louis Costa, Xenia and Christian Zamora.

Dre Popow, serving as the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Queens-based organization Veterans Rebuilding Life, enlisted in the Marines following the tragic events of September 11th, 2001 in his home, New York City. He served in combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan before receiving an honorable discharge.

Veterans Rebuilding Life 2023-2024 Sweetwater Clifton - City Spirit Awards, sponsored by the NY Knicks, and HUB International.

Veterans Rebuilding Life was established in 2011 for veterans, by veterans. The nonprofit organization offers a three-phase program encompassing Health (mentorship and mediation), Security (education and employment), and Purpose (volunteer service). Their mission centers on extending humanitarian aid to veterans and victims of war and disaster.