DALLAS – The Dallas Mavericks have selected veteran power forward Maxi Kleber as the team’s nominee for the February NBA Cares Community Assist Award for his continuous charitable and philanthropic efforts to empower children and families throughout the year.
“Anytime you give back and give another person a smile, it gives you a big smile,” Kleber said, after finishing one of the countless community projects he has taken part in over the season.
Whether it be serving holiday meals, breaking in new basketball courts, visiting children in hospitals and after games, the Mavericks community relations team said Kleber always brings his big heart and childlike spirit.
“Each week, Mavs HQ receives thank you cards and emails addressed directly to Maxi Kleber,” said Hannah Sherertz, Dallas Mavericks Director of Community Relations.
“This season, Kleber has focused on providing community tickets to HopeKids in Dallas. HopeKids provides ongoing events, activities and a powerful, support community for families who have a child with cancer or some other life-threatening medical conditions.”
Kleber affords these families the opportunity to take a break from their day-to-day challenges to spend time together at Mavs games, Sherertz added.
As the season concludes, Kleber will host these families, known as Kleber’s Krew, post-game together for a meet and greet.
February was especially memorable for the native of the Wurzburg, Germany. On Feb. 21, Kleber notched a career-high 26 points as the Mavericks beat the Magic on the road, 122-106.
“I probably never had a night like that in the NBA,” said Kleber, playing his third NBA season. “It just sort of happened.”
Off the court, he continues to excel and give back to the area and serves as a role model for young people.
About five months ago, tornadoes ripped through Dallas and left a trail of destruction that destroyed many schools and neighbors. Dallas Lutheran sustained significant damage from the storms, and school officials reached out to the Mavs to provide moral support to the high school basketball teams.
“Once Kleber heard the gym of the school had been destroyed, he was on board to help raise the spirts of the teams,” Sherertz shared. “Since the school’s athletics classes and teams were displaced, Maxi decided the best thing he could do would be to visit these classes and bring his one of a kind laughter, smile and encouragement for the students.”
She said Kleber played dodgeball with the teens, completed drills with the girls basketball team and participated in a Q&A session about the challenges of sports and in life.
Kleber is committed to young people and the day after he signed his new contract extension with the Mavericks, he decided to buy pizza for all the youth at a Mavs Academy Hoops Camp.
He also spent the summer in the gym with young student-athletes at other Mavs Basketball Academy Hoop Camps. MBA coaches said he injects enthusiasm and excitement that creates an electric atmosphere for young people.
To tipoff the season, Kleber joined Dwight Powell in dedicating the Mavs Foundation’s 26th basketball court to the community. The duo shared with them how much similar courts impacted their lives and what a gift it was to have new place to learn the game.
“I wish I’d had something like this when I grew up, because this is great,” Kleber said. “It’s an honor to be here because we love interacting with the kids. This is their place.”
The Dallas Mavericks community relations team said they are fortunate to have a player like Maxi Kleber represent the organization.
He’s creating memories, they say, that will stick with these children and families forever.
ABOUT NBA CARES
NBA Cares is the league’s global social responsibility program that builds on the NBA’s mission of addressing important social issues in the U.S. and around the world.
NBA Cares works with internationally recognized youth-serving programs that support education, youth, and family development, and health-related causes, including Special Olympics, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, UNICEF, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Share Our Strength and GLSEN.
NBA Cares programs and participants have provided more than 5 million hours of hands-on service, created more than 1,300 places where kids and families can live, learn or play and engaged more than 51 million youth in basketball programs in communities around the world. Internationally, NBA Cares has created more than 323 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play in 40countries.