Inside Stuff: Puerto Rico’s Son, J.J. Barea
Kristen Ledlow sits down with Puerto Rico native J.J. Barea to talk about how he and the Dallas Mavericks are helping hurricane relief efforts in his homeland.
J.J. Barea has been chosen as a finalist for the 2017-18 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, the Professional Basketball Writers Association announced today. The honor, named after the NBA’s second commissioner, is presented annually by the PBWA to a player, coach or athletic trainer who demonstrates outstanding service and dedication to the community.
Each team nominates someone for the award, and a panel of 25 PBWA members selects five finalists. This year’s finalists are Barea, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Dwyane Wade.
Barea worked with the Mavericks and other partners in North Texas to deliver more than 100,000 pounds of supplies to his native Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, which left the island completely devastated. Left without power and many without basic necessities such as food and water, help was needed in a major way. Barea coordinated five trips and was present for several of them. His deliveries included 32 generators, 14,000 pounds of water, 10,000 pounds of food and 3,000 pounds of medical supplies, diapers, clothing, cleaning products and toiletries on the first trip alone.
Barea also raised more than $250,000 through a YouCaring campaign and personally raised nearly $500,000. In addition, the Mavericks agreed to donate all single-game ticket revenue from the Oct. 25 game against the Memphis Grizzlies to hurricane relief efforts, tallying more than $114,000. He held a similar fundraising event at his alma mater, Northeastern University, in December, and partnered with bike-sharing company ofo to donate 600 bikes to Puerto Rico.
In recognition of his efforts, he was given the Community Assist Award for the month of October. In addition to the honor, the NBA and Kaiser Permanente donated $10,000 to the J.J. Barea Foundation.
Barea would be the first Maverick to win the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award. Recent winners include LeBron James, Wayne Ellington, and Joakim Noah. The winner will be decided through a vote of the PBWA’s full membership.