Military members, Dallas Mavericks commit to service

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Charles Taylor
  • 301st Fighter Wing

Airmen and Marines from Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, teamed up with the Dallas Mavericks and Caliber Home Loans for a Hoops for Troops volunteerism event Nov. 9, 2017, at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.


The event is part of a Department of Defense initiative announced in 2014 by Retired Army General Martin E. Dempsey, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Basketball Association for Commitment to Service projects, which is designed to help members of the U.S. Armed Forces connect with people in the local communities.


During the Hoops for Troops event, the combined effort helped to pack 10,000 healthy meals for hungry families in the Dallas area.


“This was a great event, and everyone was friendly and ready to work,” said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jacqueline Ross, personnel specialist for the 301st Fighter Wing. “It felt really good to know you're doing something for people in need.”


Being able to make a positive difference in the community wasn't the only thing that stuck out in the minds of military members. Partnering up with the Mavericks also stood out, and that is something Katie Edwards, Mavericks Director of Community Relations, wanted to express from the other side.


“I think it's a special way to celebrate Veterans Day, where we definitely want to honor and salute those who are serving in our armed forces,” Edwards said. “This is a great way for us to come together and be able to make a difference in our community side-by-side.”


Along with connecting with the community, military members and veterans were honored and saluted during the Mavericks’ Hoops for Troops game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Veterans Day.

Mavs players Dennis Smith Jr. and Dorian Finney-Smith also volunteered to help put meals together. For Smith Jr., this event had a special meaning.


“This was a really good experience, and I’ve always wanted to do something like this, being from the neighborhood I’m from,” Smith Jr. said. “I know a lot of kids that wanted something like this to happen for them. So I appreciate the opportunity, and I look forward to doing a lot more in the future.”


Hoops for Troops is a program the NBA hosts annually during the week of Veterans Day. Through the week, military members and their families work the league’s teams, players and coaches to make positive impacts in their areas. To find out more about Hoops for Troops week, visit


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