Dallas Mavericks veteran shooting guard Seth Curry had an extra pep in his step Tuesday night as he virtually visited with members of the Mavs and Chime family for a pregame mixer ahead of CoachArt’s Salute to Coaches gala. The event coincided with “National Coaches Day” and honored volunteer coaches who dedicate their talents and time to improve the lives of children impacted by chronic illness.

“I wish we could do this event in person, but we’ll take Zoom for now,” Chime CEO and co-founder Chris Britt said as he opened the event with his wife. “We have been involved with CoachArt for over a decade now and it’s something very important to us and our family. I want to celebrate what’s been an important year for our organization and thank the Mavs for stepping up as a major sponsor for the event. We couldn’t be prouder to have you guys as our partner.”

The Dallas Mavericks joined Chime, the official jersey patch sponsor of the franchise, to sponsor CoachArt’s Salute to Coaches Gala because the two organizations agreed to be a positive force in the community when they inked a multi-year partnership last January.

Now, the Mavs and Chime will serve as frontrunners to establish CoachArt in Dallas to get the ball rolling, literally, in hopes of impacting thousands of area families here.

Britt joined CoachArt a decade ago and attends programs regularly with his family. In 2019, the organization honored him as the Heart and Humanity Champion for impacting the lives of countless children and their siblings suffering from chronic illness.

“Chris Britt exemplifies the vision, dedication, and compassion of our board members,” said Greg Harrell-Edge, executive director of CoachArt and a walk-on member of the basketball team at the University of Virginia. “Our community is grateful to him for all he’s done to build CoachArt’s presence and advance our mission.”

Chime was co-founded by Britt in 2013 and over the years, his dream has evolved into the leading digital banking app in the United States that’s now worth an astounding $14.5 billion dollars. Just last month, CNBC announced that Chime is now the most valuable American fintech start-up serving retail consumers. In fact, Chime is worth almost 900% more than just 18 months ago and has doubled its valuation from December.

The Mavs and Chime share a deep commitment to community with a desire to impact the lives of people at the grassroots level in hopes of cultivating sustainable change. The Seth Curry Foundation has been involved in several charity and outreach initiatives backed by the Mavs and Chime, including the Venture — Entrepreneurial Expedition program.

“Every time I’ve worked with the Mavs and Chime, it’s a first-class experience for me and my foundation,” Curry said. “The Venture – Entrepreneurial Expedition program is a chance for me to teach students about starting a business and putting the plan in action. To see the excitement in the kids’ eyes and see the work they put in is meaningful and special. I always want to show support in the community that I play in and show my face to the youth. Living here in Dallas has been the easiest and best situation for me and my foundation, and I hope to do more and more in the community.”

After returning home from the NBA bubble, Curry said he’s been able to process and reflect on the experience and truly feels honored that he was able to experience life in Orlando during a unique period in sports history.

“We were just so thankful for the NBA to make it possible again for us to play games and it was really exciting,” Curry explained. “We had a goal and it was fun to be around each in the bubble and stepping into an entire new environment and essentially making sports history during a time period we will likely never see again. It’s something I’ll get to talk about for the rest of my life. We were able to give the whole country entertainment and something to watch and, hopefully, something positive for our fans to enjoy.”

Dallas Mavs CEO Cynt Marshall thanked Curry for his commitment to the Mavs and the North Texas community and announced that the franchise is thrilled to work with Chime to bring CoachArt to the North Texas region. She also thanked Chime for including the Mavericks’ franchise in so many different outreach programs.

“This partnership has been absolutely amazing,” Marshall said during the Zoom call. “The culture with Chime is just special.”

Marshall also noted how Chime continually steps up to answer the call and played a massive role in North Texas when the coronavirus shut down the NBA last March.

“When the COVID-19 situation arrived it caused economic hardships for our arena workers and their families because their source of income vanished in an instant,” Marshall said. “Chime was the first one to step in and support the fund to help these workers. Then later, Chime stepped in to support a free-throw campaign that raised over $100,000 for eight different local charities. We are just doing some amazing stuff together and we just love Chime and everything they stand for. They are amazing.”

CoachArt’s Mission In Dallas More Important Than Ever
CoachArt offers free art and athletic lessons for chronically-ill children and their siblings between the ages of 5-18 with programs currently offered in Los Angeles, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area. Dallas will soon be home to the fourth CoachArt location and the first city outside the state of California.

The arrival of the CoachArt Ambassador Chapter program in the North Region comes at the perfect time because of the way COVID-19 has drastically shifted the world and the way people are reached. Leaders with the Mavs and Chime will work fast to build a strong presence in the area from the ground up, reaching all families that could benefit from the platform. Furthermore, the Mavericks will encourage players, coaches and the company’s over 200 employees to sign-up as volunteer coaches and use their unique skillsets in various areas to touch the lives of so many children and families in need.

With a few hours each week, CoachArt volunteers drive incredible impact in the connection, support, and joy they deliver to children and families in need.

The foundation is backed by volunteers (note: like you, our great fans!) that have an artistic or athletic hobby, and the coaches are matched with children and their siblings that often feel isolated because of their condition. Frequent hospital visits and deficient immune systems often cause them to miss time in school and also miss recreational activities.

Families overwhelmed by the cost and demands of ongoing medical care often lack the resources to seek out or afford extracurricular activities. Healthy siblings are affected too when family resources are focused on a chronically ill child. CoachArt supports these families by offering free recreational lessons that bring a sense of normalcy back to their lives.

Curry, Marshall Recognize Personal Coaching Influences In Their Lives
Before the CoachArt pre-game virtual mixer ended Tuesday, Marshall, along with Curry and other executives, saluted their coaching heroes and the mentors that propelled them into purpose.

Curry immediately acknowledged the guidance of coaching mentors he’s played for in the past and present, including Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, Portland coach Terry Stotts and coaching legend George Karl.

However, Curry said the person that stands above the rest and played the biggest role in his life is legendary high school coach Shonn Brown, who has served as a guide and mentor to students at Charlotte Christian School in North Carolina for nearly 20 years. Curry said coach Brown was instrumental to his success because he preached humility in both his words and his actions.

“It’s funny because he’s the first coach that actually cut me from a team,” Curry shared, as he explained how growing up he was always the best player on his youth teams and expected to just vault straight to varsity when he reached high school.

“As a freshman, he didn’t put me on the varsity — he put me on the JV and it really taught me about earning your spot and not having anything handed to you,” Curry said. “It’s a great lesson because that was a pivotal moment in my life and would eventually push me to work harder and harder and get better. It woke me up to realize the importance of working for what you believe in, and that lesson, even as a freshman, was important. Coach Brown and I still have a great relationship today and he taught me so many great lessons on and off the floor. He was the most influential coach in my life.”

Meanwhile, Marshall, the first black female CEO to lead a NBA team, echoed Curry’s experience and shared how her former AAU track coach also taught humility and patience, and she explained how his tough lessons actually set a foundation that she would lean on for decades.

“My coach is Johnny Holmes, in the San Francisco Bay Area, and he was my track coach from about age seven to 17,” Marshall joyfully shared. “What I loved about him is every offseason he would put these ankle weights on us and make us run these hills in Point Richmond, California. At the time I thought it was actually really cruel. But he would say nope, and then he’d encourage us to keep moving.”

Marshall, a cancer survivor and mother of four adopted children, said during those taxing runs in the hills, Holmes would share the importance of running with weights strapped to their legs. She says it’s the same valuable message she hopes to someday share with the children and families that she meets with CoachArt when the foundation officially launches in Dallas.

Coach Holmes told her: “If you can get through life with ankle weights on, just imagine what will happen when the weights are off. You can really, really fly.”

Story: Tamara Jolee, Dallas Mavs

To learn more about the remarkable work and mission behind CoachArt, click here. For Mavs fans who want to serve as frontrunners and ambassadors with the CoachArt ambassador program in North Texas, check back soon to find out more ways to help!

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