Thirty minutes after capping off one of his top performances of the season, Tim Hardaway Jr. returned to the court Monday night to meet some of his loyalist fans.

This year, Hardaway is once again participating in the Mavs’ Community Ticket Program, which provides select youth-based nonprofit organizations with opportunities to attend Dallas Mavericks home games through donated tickets.

Some players, like Hardaway, choose to also meet with the children after games, and tonight he hosted two dozen kids from Bridgebuilders.

BridgeBuilders is a faith-based organization long supported by the Dallas Mavericks and Mavs Foundation. The Bonton nonprofit “restores relationships under the banner of Christ by engaging, equipping, and empowering individuals, families, and communities in South Dallas.”

Leaders said the children arrived at the game in two buses, and the kids were thrilled to see Hardaway put on a show as the Mavs cruised to a 120-96 victory against Charlotte at American Airlines Center. He poured in 19 points on 5-of-11 baskets from beyond the three-point arc.

“Is that No. 11? Oh my gosh!” one grade-schooler squealed as the guard/forward walked up to the children.

Dallas Mavericks game night host and team inclusion ambassador Chris Arnold moderated a Q&A session where the youth could learn more about Hardaway.

“What inspired you to be a basketball player, Tim?” a little girl named Shemia asked him.

“I would say my dad,” he told the children. “My dad played here when I was in fourth grade, around eight or nine years old. Just seeing him play and coming here to watch him play. It was a no-brainer for me.”

Hardaway went to school in Plano when his father played for Dallas. He told the kids that he started to play basketball around the same age they are now. Another thing he revealed is that he never got to play football because his dad sustained an injury when he was younger, and it was too risky for Jr. to jeopardize his future basketball career.

Hardaway also explained how he set goals to compete hard and go to college and further his education.

“After that, I just wanted to fulfill my dream to play in the NBA.”

His dream also includes giving back to the fans and the game. Hardaway has been incredibly philanthropic this holiday season.

He dished out turkeys and meals for 250 families in need at Buckner International during Thanksgiving. Tonight he hosted the children, and on Tuesday, he will bring holiday cheer to two local families in need from the Dallas Leadership Foundation..

Hardaway is thankful to do his part both on and off the court.

“It’s always an honor and privilege to do something like this,” Hardaway shared after a recent community event. “Especially in our busy schedule. (The fans) do so much for us to cheer us on, why not return the favor?”

To learn more about the Dallas Mavericks Community Ticket Program, click here.

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