Hall of Fame Recognizes Leaders in Basketball for Humanitarian Efforts
SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced this evening on NBA TV that 12-year NBA veteran Chris Paul, ABC/ESPN basketball analyst Jalen Rose and University of Memphis head coach Tubby Smith have been named winners of the 2016 Mannie Jackson - Basketball’s Human Spirit Award. The winners will be recognized on Thursday, September 8th at the Reunion Dinner on the Hall of Fame’s Center Court during Enshrinement Weekend.
“The Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to recognize these three exceptional humanitarians who have used basketball as a platform to improve the lives of others,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “The Mannie Jackson - Basketball’s Human Spirit Award is a prestigious honor awarded only to those with this highest level of dedication to making a positive impact off the court – Mr. Paul, Mr. Rose and Mr. Smith are remarkably qualified.”
Established in 2007, the Mannie Jackson - Basketball’s Human Spirit Award honors individuals who have found the game of basketball to be a contributing aspect of their personal growth and accomplishment, a place to develop an understanding of others and an avenue that has helped shape his or her growth into a recognized visionary leader. 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.
“When you see athletes in the news, you see one dimension of a person and that’s the time they are playing basketball. Within those people are very special traits,” said Mannie Jackson, the Award’s namesake. “A Hall of Fame should recognize the great athletes, but also the great people who are in athletics that are doing extraordinary things for their communities.”
Paul, Rose and Smith were chosen from a large candidate pool that represents every level of basketball and is reviewed annually by a distinguished Selection Committee appointed by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Mr. Jackson.
Jackson has served as a positive example and role model to his peers, in addition to his tremendous business success. A former star for the Harlem Globetrotters, Jackson served as a senior executive for Honeywell Inc. during the 1980’s and early 1990’s, and saved the Globetrotters from near extinction in 1993 when he purchased the team. In doing so, Mannie Jackson became the first African-American owner of a major international sports and entertainment organization. In a short period of time, Jackson revived the organization and led the Globetrotters to record attendance and revenue growth while expanding the influence of the Globetrotters to more than 118 countries. Under Jackson’s watch, the Globetrotters charitable contributions totaled over $15 million and in 2002 the Harlem Globetrotters were elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
In 2012, Jackson penned his bestselling autobiography, “Boxcar To Boardrooms” and continues to donate generously to numerous causes including the American Red Cross, victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Gulf Coast, victims of the tsunami in Southeast Asia, the Globetrotters Scholarship Foundation, the University of Illinois, South African youth funds, the Basketball Hall of Fame and the Lincoln School Alumni Foundation of his hometown Edwardsville, Illinois.
The Mannie Jackson - Basketball’s Human Spirit Award Winners 2016
Chris Paul – Wake Forest All-American, two-time Olympic gold medalist and 9-time NBA All-Star, Chris Paul, has excelled at every level of the game. In 2005, Paul established the CP3 Foundation, which has evolved into the Chris Paul Family Foundation. Alongside his family members, Paul strives to positively impact individuals and families by leveling the playing field in education, sports and life. The Chris Paul Family Foundation focuses on enriching the communities of Winston-Salem, New Orleans and Los Angeles through initiatives including literacy, holiday giving, emergency preparedness, prom dress giveaways, youth basketball clinics and court refurbishments. Additional initiatives include partnerships with the Salvation Army, Feed The Children and Make-A-Wish Foundation among other nonprofit organizations. Paul and his wife have also committed to funding SOS Children’s Villages in Africa and gifting two annual scholarships to Wake Forest University in honor of his late grandfather. Paul has served as the President of the National Basketball Players Association since 2013 and won the NBA’s Community Assist Award three times, an annual award given to an NBA player that consistently shows passion for philanthropy and community service.
Jalen Rose – Michigan “Fab Five” member, 13-year NBA veteran and ABC/ESPN basketball analyst since 2007, Jalen Rose has never wavered in his love and support for his hometown of Detroit, Michigan. In 2000, he established the Jalen Rose Foundation to create life-changing opportunities for underserved youth through unique programs and the distribution of grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. Grants focus on education and sports and are distributed in Detroit, as well as other communities in need. In 2003, the Jalen Rose Foundation made a substantial gift to the University of Michigan to endow a scholarship for an incoming freshman with special consideration for students who come from the state of Michigan and either resides in an inner-city area or is a member of an underrepresented group. In 2011, Rose founded the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA), a tuition free, public charter high school in Detroit. JRLA serves over 400 ninth through twelfth grade students and graduated its inaugural class in June 2015 with one hundred percent of the graduating class gaining college, trade/technical school or military acceptance. Rose has received many awards for his humanitarian efforts including the Detroit News Michiganian of the Year.
Tubby Smith – University of Memphis Head Coach, NCAA Champion and the 2003 Naismith Coach of the Year, Tubby Smith, is one of the most respected coaches in the game. He is just one of two coaches to lead five different schools to the NCAA tournament and in 2016 he earned the John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award. The annual award recognizes the lifetime achievement of coaches who exemplify Coach Wooden's high standards of coaching success and personal integrity including character, success rate on the court, graduating rate of student-athletes and coaching philosophy. In 1998, Smith and his wife established the Tubby Smith Foundation in Kentucky and raised more than $1.5 million in the first five years. The Foundation has followed Smith on his coaching journey and had a positive impact in several communities by funding youth initiatives such as playgrounds, children’s hospitals, schools and youth camps and more.
The Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award Winners 2007-2015
2015: Paul Fireman, Bill Self, Steve Smith
2014: Bob Delaney, Robert L. Johnson
2013: Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Pat Summitt, Boo Williams
2012: Jim Calhoun, Grant Hill, Dr. Richard Lapchick
2011: Chauncey Billups, Dr. John “Jumpin’ Johnny” Kline, The V Foundation
2010: Jim Boeheim, Samuel Dalembert, Alfreda Harris
2009: Ken Hudson, Bob Lanier, Alonzo Mourning
2008: Sonny Hill, David Robinson
2007: Dikembe Mutombo
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 and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.