SPRINGFIELD, MA – Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea will receive the prestigious Mannie Jackson Human Spirit Award at the Reunion Dinner tonight during the Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend.
The award also will be given to Borias Diaw and Tina Charles.
“The Mannie Jackson Award is an esteemed honor awarded only to those with the highest level of dedication to making a positive impact in the lives of others,” said John L. Doleva, the president and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “The Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to recognize J.J. Barea, Tina Charles and Boris Diaw for the impact they have had on the national and global level.”
Barea helped provide over 100,000 pounds of supplies to victims in his native Puerto Rico who were impacted by Hurricane Maria last year. That includes 14,000 pounds of water, 10,000 pounds pf food, 3,000 pounds of clothes, medical supplies, toiletries, diapers and cleaning supplies.
Also, Barea raised over $250,000 for families affected by Hurricane Maria by launching a fund-raiser on YouCaring.com. In addition, he personally raised over $500,000 to help needy families.
“Barea’s work with the disaster relief in Puerto Rico was incredible,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. “The amount of time and effort and personal resources that he put into it was just one of the great humanitarian acts I’ve seen in a long, long time.”
Barea used the airplane of Mavs proprietor Mark Cuban in making several trips back and forth to Puerto Rico to assist in any way he could.
“The Mannie Jackson Award is one of the highest community service awards in existence, and he’s so deserving,” Carlisle said. “I’ll be there for that.”
So too will Jackson.
“A Hall of Fame should recognize great athletes, but also the great people who are in athletics and are doing extraordinary things for their communities,” Jackson said. “I am proud to report the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame leadership continues doing an extraordinary job of identifying the “greats” in the basketball community who do positive things for humankind.”
In addition to tonight’s Reunion Dinner, on Friday morning Barea will visit Holyoke High School to discuss his career, the importance of giving back and the importance of attending school. Several Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria wound up at Holyoke High School.
“I’ll be proud to be there to support him and I’ll be there at his event Friday morning in Holyoke,” Carlisle said. “There’s a very densely populated Puerto Rican population and he’s going to go do an event there and it should be just fantastic.”