Harrison Barnes is in the middle of a busy January, both on and off the court.
The Mavericks’ 6-8 forward helped end the team’s four-game losing streak on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Clippers. The makings of a winning streak will be on the line Friday against Detroit. He continues to average over 18 points per game.
He’s been consistent and solid, but he’s also been every bit as reliable in the community.
Barnes will spend part of Sunday supporting National Mentoring Month as the home game against Toronto. He and the Mavericks will host 50 pairs of kids from Big Brothers Big Sisters, with the group sitting courtside for pregame warmups and getting a special visit from Barnes.
He will share his experiences and the importance of having strong mentors in anybody’s life.
“I love being involved in community initiatives, but especially when it involves kids,” Barnes said. “We’re in a unique position where we can have an influence on the lives of young people and that’s something that I think all athletes should be very proud of.
“Lots of kids have to overcome a lot of challenges. If we can help them understand the value of hard work and education, then that’s a huge advantage for them and rewarding for me personally.”
Already in January, Barnes worked with teammates Dennis Smith Jr. and Dorian Finney-Smith to visit the Lincoln vs. Carter high school basketball game in Dallas. Barnes met with Lincoln’s team to give advice not only on basketball, but the high schoolers’ futures both inside and outside of sports.
He also spent Jan. 17 partnering with the Mavericks and former Dallas police chief David Brown to host a Q&A before students started their evening shift at Café Momentum, a transformative experience that includes a 12-month paid post-release internship program for young men and women coming out of juvenile facilities. Students rotate through all aspects of the restaurant business.
This comes after numerous appearances for clinics and camps with youngsters at various locations around Dallas throughout the year.
Barnes also sponsors a block of community tickets, HB’s Scholars, which provides groups from Boys & Girls Clubs and After School All-Stars to attend each home game.
“Whatever I can do, I’m going to do it when it comes to working with kids and trying to give them a better situation,” Barnes said. “They always have smiles on their faces, but I think I get just as much out of it as they do, to be honest.”