- Basketball Hall of Fame Recognizes Leaders from Professional, Amateur and Grassroots Basketball for their Humanitarian Efforts -
SPRINGFIELD – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today announced that Sacramento Kings center Samuel Dalembert of Haiti, Hall of Fame Coach Jim Boeheim of Syracuse University and Alfreda Harris, a community leader from Massachusetts, have been named winners of the 2010 Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award, presented by CSX. The winners will be recognized on August 12 during events leading up to the 2010 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremonies.
“The Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award is presented annually to individuals who have honored the game of basketball by virtue of their personal growth and life-long accomplishments,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “We are proud to recognize three distinguished members of the basketball community for their many contributions on and off the court.”
The basic criteria for award winners includes embracing the core values of the game, hard-work, striving to improve the community and making a 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 his or her actions and seeking the highest standard of excellence.
Dalembert, Boeheim and Harris 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; Philadelphia legend Sonny Hill; Hall of Famer David Robinson, along with 2009 tri-winners, former NBA official Ken Hudson, Hall of Famer Bob Lanier and former NBA All-Star and Georgetown standout Alonzo Mourning.
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.