Dallas Mavericks’ Dwight Powell Named NBA Cares 2019-20 Community Assist Award Recipient

Dwight Powell of the Dallas Mavericks was honored with the NBA Cares 2019-20 Community Assist Award by the league. The award recognizes Powell’s fund supporting cancer patients, COVID-19 relief efforts as well as his involvement with the National Basketball Players Association.

Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes, Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown, Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul also received nods for the end-of-season award. Along with Powell, the Mavericks nominated Kristaps Porzingis for consideration.

“In my opinion, being a member of a community 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 in a statement. “Furthermore, this year has presented us all with challenges that I feel should have reminded us that we are part of a much larger community than our NBA market. The issues at hand regarding public health and equality are far reaching and demand all of our attention. So it goes without saying we as NBA players have felt the need to step up in whatever way we can to try and find ways to help keep people safe, fight for racial justice and urge everyone to register to vote so they too can use their voices. As members of the greater community I feel that’s all of our duties.”

Fulfilling a promise he made to his mother, Powell established the Dwight Powell Children and Family Support Fund at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas two years ago. The first-of-its-kind in the state of Texas fund provides patients and their children resources to help them cope with cancer. Powell’s mother, Jacqueline Weir, passed away from breast cancer in 2012.

At the second annual “A Night of Hope” gala held last October, the event raised $75,000 for patients undergoing treatment and their families.

“The game of basketball has provided me a great deal and playing in this league has always been my dream,” Powell said, “but 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.”

Powell also teamed up with other members of the Mavericks to contribute to frontline workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic in North Texas. Along with Luka Doncic, owner Mark Cuban and the Mavericks Foundation, Powell donated $500,000 to help support the childcare needs of healthcare workers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas.

“We are extremely grateful for the amazing bravery shown by our health professionals during this difficult time,” said Powell. “We feel it’s our duty to do whatever we can to support their efforts.”

Powell was also instrumental in helping plan the NBA’s restart at Walt Disney World
. The confines of the NBA Bubble not only amplified Powell’s work with the NBPA, it presented a platform for him and others to speak out against racial injustice. During the several days of the players’ wildcat strike, Powell was involved throughout as the Mavericks’ representative to the NBPA. He helped guide the players union through a difficult time while drawing awareness to social and racial injustice.

“The conversations with the league and the ownership group were very motivated to find ways to actively bring change right now and for the future, going forward,” Powell said. “Seeking out help to help us bring change was an important step as well and finding ways to do the justice coalition that we’re going to go forward with, to do this in the right way so that we can actually affect change systemically.”

The award “recognizes an NBA player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and its players share for giving back to their communities.” Powell has received the NBA Cares monthly honors in the past and was a finalist for last season’s NBA Cares Community Service Award. This is the first time that Powell has been named an end-of-year recipient.

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