As best as Mark Cuban could remember, he’d never been to the greater Norfolk area.
It’s not that the historic area didn’t hold appeal. The Mavericks owner just never had been there.
Until last weekend.
It took a special event and one of the special people Cuban has ever dealt with to get him to Portsmouth, Va., just a stone’s throw from Colonial Williamsburg and Virginia Beach.
And it showed just what kind of difference Cuban and the Mavericks are making in the community.
Not just the Dallas community, but for people in need all over.
Dorian Finney-Smith had his fifth annual basketball camp for kids in his hometown. It was a huge success with so many youth taking part (more than 150) that the camp staff ran out of T-Shirts.
But there was more than just a camp. Finney-Smith also had his first black-tie affair to raise money for Finney Family First Foundation, which drew a lot of luminaries and for which Cuban was the keynote speaker.
“Dorian’s just an awesome guy,” Cuban told WAVY.com, a Hampton Roads-area news outlet. “He’s got a heart of gold and he cares about his community. He’s someone who worked hard. He wasn’t expected to be here. And here he is.
“So when somebody can lift themselves up through their own sheer hard work, you got to respect that. And when you’re a great human being like Doe-Doe is, I’m going to be there. He means so much.”
Finney-Smith’s work in his hometown is not unlike what a lot of NBA players do to help give back to their communities.
With the Mavericks’ alone, Dwight Powell has engineered a strong foundation to help families of cancer patients in Dallas, Reggie Bullock has become a major advocate of LGBTQ rights after two of his sisters were murdered, including one who was a transgender woman and Luka Dončić has rebuilt outdoor basketball courts in his hometown in Slovenia.
These endeavors are in addition to the many camps and appearances that virtually all Mavericks make in the Dallas area throughout the year.
“Sports is unlike any other business,” Cuban said. “You can work for Google, Apple, any great company and people don’t pay attention in the community. But when you’re a professional athlete like Dorian, people want to know that you care and Doe-Doe exemplifies that. He’s just a special guy.”
Finney-Smith’s weekend also included a free community day that featured a cookout and softball tournament. Before heading to his hometown, Finney-Smith last week was part …….