The Mannie Jackson - Basketball's Human Spirit Award


The award is given annually to an individual who has found the game of basketball to be a contributing aspect to their personal growth and accomplishment, a place to develop an understanding of others, and an avenue that helped shape that individual's growth into a recognized visionary and leader.

Jackson Award recipients embrace the core values of the game: hard-work, striving to improve and a commitment to others. Beyond the game they reflect the values of Mannie Jackson's life-long mission to overcome obstacles; challenge the status quo, take responsibility for his or her actions while seeking the highest standard of excellence. It's a commitment that transcends personal reward and constantly challenges the human spirit.

In their community, this person is a recognized leader and catalyst for change. Ultimately, they are singular individuals who lead by example, demonstrating a philosophy of respectfulness, teamwork, commitment, and human compassion in all aspects of their lives.


2014 Award Winners


Bob Delaney - Former NBA referee crew chief Delaney served as one of the league’s most respected officials for twenty-four seasons. His tireless and ground breaking work with Post-Traumatic Stress providing education and awareness for military, law enforcement, firefighters, first responders and their families has gained international recognition. In 2011, Delaney was recruited by Commissioner David Stern to be an NBA Cares Ambassador to further share the PTS message.


Robert L. Johnson - Johnson currently serves as the Charlotte Bobcats Governor to the NBA. Since selling the Bobcats in 2010 to MJ Basketball Holdings, LLC, Johnson has retained a minority ownership interest in the team. Having co-founded Black Entertainment Television (BET) in 1979 and serving as BET’s Chairman and CEO, Johnson became the first African-American billionaire. Johnson’s philanthropic contributions have been local and global; including significant contributions towards the building of the West Boulevard YMCA in Charlotte and raised funds for hurricane preparedness for the Bahamas. Johnson created a clothing line to raise money to benefit Africa through Malaria No More and created the Liberia Enterprise Fund with a $30 million investment for Liberian entrepreneurs. In addition, Johnson is one of the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Ambassadors of the Game, which is a giving program that helps the Hall of Fame enhance and solidify the values of the game -teamwork, competition, discipline, personal excellence and sportsmanship - for all those who love the game.



2013 Award Winners


Representing the Professional game:

Earvin “Magic” Johnson - Hall of Famer and 12-time NBA All-Star who created the Magic Johnson Foundation in 1991 in hopes of developing programs and support community based organizations. His community Empowerment Centers have impacted more than 200,000 kids, awarding over $3 million in hardware and software grants and awarded over $250,000 in online scholarships. Johnson has supported several charity groups including: Celebrity Fight Night Foundation, Charity Folks, Keep A Child Alive, The Miami Project and Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis. Over the years he has been an advocate of AIDS/HIV research and has helped several causes including: at risk/disadvantaged youths, education and family/parent support. Johnson was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.


Representing the Amatuer ranks:

Pat Summitt - For nearly four decades, Summitt led the Tennessee Lady Vols program to 16 SEC Championships, eight NCAA titles and seven NCAA Coach of the Year awards. In August 2011, Summitt announced that she was battling with early onset dementia, “Alzheimer’s type.” She finished the 2011-12 season and in November, she revealed the formation of her foundation, the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund with the proceeds going toward cutting-edge research. The Huntington Post named Summitt a 2011 Game Changer – an innovator, leader and role model who is changing the way we look at the world and the way we live. President Barack Obama presented her on April 19, 2012 in the White House with the 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom award. She was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000.


Representing the Grassroots ranks:

Boo Williams - Founded the Boo Williams Summer league in 1982, which is a Youth Basketball Organization in Hampton Roads region of Virginia. Williams has coached and mentored over 2,500 student athletes both male and female. He also helped fund and build the Boo Williams Sportsplex, which is a multi-purpose, eight court, sport facility that hosts several basketball games throughout the year. In 2001 he was named Walt Disney Wide World of Sports Volunteer of the year and he serves on the USA/ABA Cadet Committee for Development of Future Olympians.



2012 Award Winners


Representing the Professional game:

Grant Hill, Los Angeles Clippers Guard - Known for his positive attitude, strong work ethic and high moral code, Hill has routinely left his mark in a number of cities where he played professionally. He lends his support not only to a variety of national issues but to local issues as well. Hill was recently awarded a key to the city of Reston, Virginia, where he was raised with the proceeds from that reception going to the Medical Care for Children Partnership, which provides medical services for needy children in the county. Hill also appeared on behalf of Foot Locker and Fila, at a Detroit middle school to kick-off a program designed to replace backboards in 250 area schools. In addition, GMC Trucks sponsored his visit to the Michigan Special Olympics Women’s basketball team where he spoke, joked, and shot baskets with the players. 



Representing the Amatuer ranks:

Jim Calhoun, Former University of Connecticut Hall of Fame Head Coach - Calhoun has used his success to champion many causes during his tenure at the University of Connecticut.  Having beaten cancer – twice, Coach Calhoun has devoted his time and money to help raise millions of dollars for cancer research and education.  In 1998, he and his wife established the Calhoun Cardiology Research Fund, donating $125,000 to the UConn Health Center.  Each year the Calhoun family host the Jim Calhoun Holiday Food Drive, which has raised over $1 million for the Connecticut Food Bank and Foodshare, providing over 1.6 million meals to families in need. Since 1994, Calhoun has served as honorary chairman for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, another example of his continued efforts to impact his community.  Jim Calhoun was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005.


Representing the Grassroots ranks:

Dr. Richard Lapchick - Often described as “the social conscience of sport,” Lapchick became the only person named as “One of the 100 Most Powerful People in Sport” to head up a sport management program.  He remains President and CEO of the National Consortium for Academics and Sport and helped bring the NCAS national office to UCF. In December of 2006, Lapchick, his wife and daughter and a group of DeVos students formed the Hope for Stanley Alliance which is organizing groups of student-athletes and sports management students to go to New Orleans to work in the reconstruction efforts in the devastated Ninth Ward.  As of the fall of 2007, Hope for Stanley members have spent 19 weeks in the city in a partnership with the NOLA City Council.  Lapchick was named an honorary citizen by the New Orleans City Council in October 2007.




2011 Award Winners


Representing the Professional game:

Chauncey Billups, New York Knicks Guard - Known as one of the NBA’s true community leaders, Billups has routinely left his mark in a number of cities where he played professionally. In 2006, the five-time NBA all-star began his involvement in the Porter/Billups Leadership Academy with Regis University in Denver by pledging $100,000 to the program which helps selected youngsters with life/educational goals and provides help with college tuition to attend Regis.  He also continues to be affiliated with The Children’s Center, a charity that has helped enrich the lives of Detroit area youth since 1929 and served as the celebrity host of its Annual Celebrity Golf Classic.








Representing the Amateur ranks:

The V Foundation, Charitable Organization - The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary basketball coach at North Carolina State.  During the past 18 years, it has raised more than $100 million and awarded cancer research grants in 38 states and the District of Columbia, with an astounding 100 percent of all new direct cash donations and net event proceeds to cancer research and related programs. The Award also recognizes the countless collegiate coaches and others in the game that annually make the V Foundation their priority charity as they assist in fighting cancer in their own communities.


Representing the Grassroots ranks:

Dr. John “Jumpin’ Johnny” Kline, Former Harlem Globetrotter - As a member of the Harlem Globetrotters in 1950s, Kline was one of the original ambassadors in the game of basketball.  The All-American was the 1952 Athlete of the Year at Wayne State University and a finalist in the United States Olympic trials for track before he joined the Globetrotters.  During the 1960s, he fell into nine years of drug and alcohol addiction, however, he pushed himself to return to Wayne State where he earned his Bachelor, Master and Ph.D. degrees in history and philosophy of education.  He started his own company on health promotion and wellness and was appointed by Detroit’s Mayor as Director of Drug Prevention Services where he served for seven years. He became the Director of Drug Free Schools and Communities for the Detroit Public Schools. In 1986, Dr. Kline developed the Youth Athletic Enrichment Program (YAEP) in Detroit’s Middle Schools.  This after-school educational program is successful and continues today.  He also founded The Black Legends of Basketball in 1996, an organization that recognizes pioneers in the game of basketball.



2010 Award Winners


Representing the Professional ranks:

Samuel Dalembert, Sacramento Kings center - A UNICEF national ambassador for Haiti who donated more than $125,000 to assist earthquake relief efforts in his homeland. In 2007, he started the Samuel Dalembert Foundation to help better the lives of people in Haiti. Dalembert, recently traded to Sacramento from the Philadelphia 76ers, was an active participant in NBA Cares activities while with the Sixers and he frequently participated in the Basketball without Borders program.


Representing the Amateur ranks:

Jim Boeheim, Syracuse University head coach - A member of the Coaches vs. Cancer Council who has helped raise $2.9 million over the past nine years by conducting the annual “Basket Ball” Gala in Syracuse. Overall, he helped raise more than $4.5 million for the American Cancer Society. Boeheim volunteers his time and services to charitable organizations, including Crouse Hospital’s Kienzle Family Maternity Center, the Children’s Miracle Network, the Eldercare Foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Special Olympics.




Representing the Grassroots ranks:

Alfreda Harris - Founded the SAT Preparation Program serving high school students in Boston while founding and coordinating girls’ basketball leagues and AAU teams for the city.  Harris also founded the Owen Wells Fitness Center and the Reebok Educational Athletic Partnership that provides students with community programs in social development, computer skills and tutoring. Serves as a Board member for the Shelbourne, Mass. Community Council, Boston Neighborhood Basketball League and the Police Athletic League.







2009 Award Winners


Ken Hudson, the former Vice President Marketing Development and Director of Community Relations for the Coca-Cola Company, became the first person of color to referee a city high school basketball championship (1967) and later became a pioneering NBA referee, officiating in the league from 1968 to 1972 as one of the league’s earliest African-American game officials. He developed several Boston-area youth basketball programs and was named to the Board of Directors of multiple companies, including Coca-Cola’s New England Board of Directors. He is currently an observer of officials for the NBA.




Bob Lanier, a 14-year standout in the National Basketball Association, was an eight-time NBA All-Star following his All-American career at St. Bonaventure. Lanier, the Most Valuable Player of the 1974 NBA All-Star Game, played just over nine seasons in Detroit and four seasons in Milwaukee. He received numerous community service honors, including the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 1978. From 1989 to 2005, Lanier chaired the NBA’s “Stay in School” program, NBA TeamUp Program and the league’s “Read to Achieve” initiative. From 2005-to the present day, Lanier remains as the NBA Cares Global Ambassador and has earned numerous awards from the United States Congress to the National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy award, dedicated to the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 2007.




Alonzo Mourning, a 15-year NBA veteran who earned a league championship ring in 2006 as a member of the Miami Heat, has made as much of an impact off the court as he did when he played on the court in the NBA and as a member of the famed Georgetown Hoyas where he earned three-time NCAA All-American honors. Mourning contributed to gold medal-winning efforts by USA Basketball at the 1994 World Championship in Toronto and the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney.

Mourning was diagnosed with a kidney disorder following the 2000 Olympics and was sidelined (2002-03) after he received a kidney transplant. All the while, Mourning ran off-season community relations programs such as “Zo’s Summer Groove” and “Zo’s Fund for Life” where he’s raised over $6 million dollars via the Alonzo Mourning Charities program. After the kidney transplant, the 2006 NBA title and his recent retirement from pro basketball, Mourning continued to be very active in the community and currently serves as a spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House Charities.



2008 Award Winners


Sonny Hill has dedicated his life to youth basketball in the city of Philadelphia. For nearly 40 years, his leagues have been an outlet for inner city basketball in Philadelphia where he serves as an influential leader within the community. In 1968, Hill founded the "Sonny Hill Community Involvement League" which continues to provide youth with discipline, guidance and direction. The league runs each year with divisions ranging from middle school through adult divisions. He has received an honorary doctorate from Temple University and was named one of the 100 "Most Influential Minorities in Sports" by Sports Illustrated. Hill has also served as an executive advisor for Peter Luukko, President and CEO of the Wachovia Complex and worked television broadcasts for the 76ers in the 1970's. His leagues have provided thousands of kids an opportunity and his dedication and tireless efforts have led to Philadelphia becoming one of the best basketball cities in the country.


David Robinson, who played his college basketball at the Naval Academy and his entire NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs, has had incredible success on the court with his two NBA Championships and 10 All-Star game appearances. Off the court, he has been a strong community resource for the city of San Antonio and the youth. He has founded and donated more than $9 million for the Carver Academy, a school in San Antonio as well as funded scholarship opportunities for youth that graduated high school. In addition, he annually donated 10% of his income to the "David Robinson Foundation" which supported two major projects; the "Ruth Project" which provided diapers and baby supplies to parents with need and to "Feed my Sheep" which offered food for the hungry. Robinson received the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award from the NBA in 2003 and was the first athlete to receive the "Montblanc de la Culture Award."



2007 Award Winner


Dikembe Mutombo is a graduate of Georgetown University and a current NBA star who has recorded more than 3,000 career blocks. Of the court, Mutombo has given his time and himself to various causes including the United Nations Development Program. He has opened the Biama Mutombo 300 bed teaching hospital in Zaire, and established the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation for helping youth. Mutombo has also worked with NBA Basketball without Borders. He has received the Essence Magazine Achiever Award for philanthropic work and the Presidential Service Award for his work and contributions.