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Monday
Apr042011

Chauncey Billups, V Foundation and “Jumpin’ Johnny” Kline Winners of The Mannie Jackson - Basketball's Human Spirit Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts today announced that New York Knicks guard Chauncey Billups, The V Foundation for Cancer Research, and former Harlem Globetrotter and college basketball All-American Dr. John “Jumpin’ Johnny” Kline, have been named winners of The Mannie Jackson - Basketball’s Human Spirit Award.  The winners will be recognized on August 11 during events leading up to the 2011 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremonies.

“We are delighted to honor such a remarkable group for their contributions to the basketball community with The Mannie Jackson, Basketball’s Human Spirit Award,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame.  “This year’s recipients have truly made a measurable impact through their selflessness, leadership and determination in the communities and constituencies they serve.”

The criteria for award winners includes embracing the core values of the game through hard work, dedication, and resilience;  striving to continuously improve the community they serve, and making an ongoing commitment to others.  Beyond the game, award winners must reflect the values of Mannie Jackson’s life-long mission to overcome obstacles and challenge the status quo, while taking responsibility for personal actions and seeking the highest standard of excellence.

Billups, The V Foundation and Kline were chosen from a group of six finalists after nominations were screened by a selection committee, appointed by the Hall of Fame and Mr. Jackson. Beginning in 2009, the finalists were grouped in three categories, representing the professional, amateur and grassroots levels of basketball.

Previous winners of the award include former Georgetown University center and NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo; Hall of Famers David Robinson and Jim Boeheim; Philadelphia legend Sonny Hill; current NBA player Samuel Dalembert; and 2009 tri-winners, former NBA official Ken Hudson, Hall of Famer Bob Lanier and former NBA All-Star and Georgetown standout Alonzo Mourning.

The Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award Winners 2011

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.

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:

Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate, men and women.