DALLAS- The jingle of holiday bells and loose change pierced the heart of Mavs Gaming star Artreyo “Dimez” Boyd.

Decked out in bright red Salvation Army bibs, Dimez and teammate Peter “PeteBeBallin” Malin served as celebrity bell ringers at NorthPark Center for a recent Mavs Care and NBA Cares “Season of Giving” event.

“It hits somewhere close to home when I can do stuff like this,” said Dimez, the No. 1 pick in NBA 2K League history. “I come from a family like these kids (who are) less fortunate.”

The holiday event was also special for Malin, a native of Long Island, New York, and Mavs Gaming’s first selection during last year’s draft. He even joined Dimez in a competitive one-on-one contest to see who could raise the most money.

All in good fun, of course.

“I’m really happy I got to come out here today for the kids that are less fortunate for the holidays” added Malin. “I feel like everyone deserves a nice Christmas or holiday, whichever one they’re celebrating.”

Giving back is a personal mission for both players and the desire to serve the less fortunate is especially meaningful for Dimez.

Although he lives the life of a celebrity these days, he never forgets his roots – nor the impoverished children and families who don’t have a lot.

“I went from nothing to something, just like that,” Boyd told Fortune in an interview earlier this year about his fame and new life. “Sleeping on floors, not having anything, to having my own house and having my own car and living on my own. So literally (getting drafted to the Mavs) changed my life.”

Born and raised in the streets of Cleveland, Ohio, Dimez says he was drawn to video games from an early age and sought refuge in them to stay out of trouble. He later beat out nearly 75,000 players around the world to eventually become the top pick of the NBA 2K Draft in its inaugural season.

Ever since then, he’s made Dallas his home and gives back to the community at various events throughout the year.

Last week at NorthPark, Boyd and Malin enjoyed interacting with fans. They snapped holiday pictures with shoppers, sparked conversations with the professional gamers and encouraged shoppers to drop donations in the red kettles as the gamers rang the bells.

Each donation was accompanied with a warm smile and heartfelt gratitude for all the people who donate money and time to the less fortunate during the holiday season.

“We’re just trying to raise as much money as we can for those families,” Dimez said, “and to give back in our own way. It means the world to me to be able to even do this and to be in this position.”

Each year, the Dallas Mavericks and other NBA teams host a variety of heartwarming and impactful “NBA Cares Season of Giving” events throughout the holiday season. The Dallas Mavericks own “Mavs Care” program gives back to the community throughout the entire year, but especially during the holidays when communities and people are often in the most need.

To learn more about Mavs Gaming: click here. 

Share and comment

More Mavs News