After visiting with patients at Children’s Medical Dallas last Thursday, Powell went to UTSWA and donated $100,000 to the Dwight Powell Children and Family Cancer Fund.
He said the money raised is courtesy of an extensive network of supporters who believe in the fund’s mission.
The Dallas Mavs Chime Community Spotlight recognizes a player for outstanding leadership on the court and in the community. The Mavs also nominated him for the November 2022 NBA Cares Community Assist Award.
The Toronto native was a recipient of the NBA Cares 2019-20 End-of-Season Community Assist Award.
He became the first player in Mavs history to take home the yearly honor since the NBA started selecting overall winners after the 2011-12 season.
“In my opinion, being a community member means lending your neighbor a hand whenever needed and searching for ways to help make your community a better place for all who live there,” Powell said.
Powell’s community work this season has been exceptional and he’s constantly giving back to others through a plethora of endeavors that brighten the lives of children and families across North Texas.
The Dwight Powell Children and Family Support Program at UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center was created in memory of Powell’s mother, Jacqueline Weir, who passed away in 2012. She never got to see her son play an NBA game, but her memory lives on through her only child. The fund assists patients and their families in coping with the hardships of cancer.
Powell decided that should he make it to the NBA, he would dedicate his career to a calling much more significant than himself and use the tools his mom taught him to help others.
“She said if you want something, there’s nothing that can stop you from getting it other than your own decisions,” Powell said. “A few of the things we talked about are in the works now, so hopefully, she’s looking down and smiling.”
Powell is more than just a donor to this fund. He actively engages and helps families benefiting from the program. He visits with the children and families, works with those leading the fund to grow and develop it, and hosts cancer fighters at games.
Before the Mavs’ nationally televised game against the Bucks in early December 2022, Powell hosted a young man with cancer named Jason “Stone” Lester.
The 23-year-old is a part of his UTSWA fund, and he was treated to a VIP experience at the game and visited with Powell and other team members courtside.
“This is a dream come true,” Lester said, as he smiled and turned around to show where Powell’s teammate Luka Doncic signed the young man’s jersey. “I never imagined Dwight would do all of this. It’s been amazing.”
Powell’s community support has impacted thousands of children and families since he was traded to Dallas on Dec. 18, 2014.
The longest-tenured member of the Mavericks has been a permanent fixture in the community and helped families and children in various ways. His support during the Season of Giving has been extraordinary.
“Dwight Powell’s community support has been far-reaching,” said Hannah Sherertz, who serves as the Dallas Mavs director of social responsibility. “He has helped families deal with unexpected costs when their kids are hospitalized. He has been a constant giver at holiday time and a constant advocate of education and learning opportunities. That generous spirit has made Powell a treasured community member, which he has also embraced.”
Powell’s cancer fund at UTSWA offers transportation assistance, family-centered workshops about employment and insurance benefits, “legacy projects” for those facing terminal diagnoses, music therapy, expenses for school supplies, after-school care, tutoring or extracurricular activities, and meal and home cleaning services.
In late November 2022, Powell hosted a young man, Dontae, and his family from his fund at UTSW when the Mavs faced the Warriors.
The family was so grateful for the opportunity to Donate and knew this experience would put a smile on his face and make lasting memories.
“After the game, Dontae had a special surprise for Dwight,” said Sherertz. “It was a breast cancer pin, which Powell gratefully accepted and returned the favor to young Dontae, taking him around the locker room where he met many more Mavericks stars and got to make some shots on the practice court.”
Powell’s work expands beyond his fund with UTSW Medical Center. He also attended a grand opening event at a new location to celebrate the new facility at Redbird Mall in the southern sector of Dallas.
He also serves in countless other ways each year that go unnoticed.
For Powell, giving back and serving others is not what he does but who he is.
Powell tipped off the 2022-2023 season strongly in the community, which was no surprise, said Sherertz.
“He committed over $14,000 and over 500 tickets to nonprofit organizations across North Texas to attend Mavericks games free of charge,” she said.
“This is a commitment Powell has made year after year, and he is always a champion on the team, encouraging others to participate in the Mavs Community Ticket Program,” Sherertz added. “In addition to the ticket donation, Powell provides exclusive meet and greets with the groups that come out and support him.”
As the season of giving began for the Mavericks, Powell led the way on a cold and rainy day for the Mavs Turkey Giveaway, joined by teammates JaVale McGee, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Frank Ntilikina to dish out 250 meals to families in need. They were jovial and upbeat, thankful to usher in the Mavs’ Season of Giving.
“It’s really about the people,” Powell said with a big smile, “but I want them to know they matter, so we take pride in even loading up their groceries. The community does so much for us, so to be able to give back in any way is really what this job is all about. So, we are very blessed and grateful to have this opportunity.”
On Dec. 16, 2022, Powell joined two teammates to visit Children’s Medical Dallas patients.
They said it was the least they could do because most of these kids won’t go home for the holidays.
Children’s Medical organizers said it was the largest turnout for an event this year, crediting the patients’ love for the Dallas Mavericks.
Powell said the kids inspire him to be grateful and he views them as superheroes.
“They were awesome,” Powell shared while smiling ear to ear. “These kids have so much energy and so much light. They remind you what it’s really all about.”
Perhaps one of the most endearing moments happened during patient room visits when a little boy swished a shot from his bed and caused the whole room to erupt in cheers.
“We had some really cool experiences and shot some hoops,” Powell explained. “One kid had a little mini hoop set up and swished one from his bed. He said his IV was pulling on him, but he made it through regardless — and one. Seeing the joy in their eyes was really fun and awesome.”
Powell also surprised families in North Texas and again paid off their layaway balances and took them on a shopping spree. The financial contributions exceeded well over $10,000. He’s done this every season since joining the Dallas Mavs. The 6-10 forward also joined the Dallas Mavericks for the franchise’s annual Cookies with Santa event, and he enthusiastically helped children do arts and crafts and open their new presents.
He also privately donates and gives back to children and families in numerous other ways.
Powell understands that his platform comes with great responsibility and he is always ready to lend a helping hand.
“The game of basketball has provided me a great deal, and playing in this league has always been my dream,” Powell said. “To be able to support families in their time of need and hopefully allow kids a chance to live their dreams themselves means so much more to me.”
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