When Hurricane Maria ripped its way through the Caribbean islands, she had Puerto Rico squared up in her sights. Maria didn't miss, leveling the island and leaving Puerto Ricans in a state of constant emergency.
Clean water and electricity were pretty much non-existent, people were hungry and in desperate need of medical attention. There was little hope of help coming from the government, so they were forced to rely on the generosity of others.
That's when JJ Barea stepped in to help. Barea is a point guard for the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, and also one of the few NBA players of Puerto Rican descent. He knew that he had to help his homeland, and borrowing a page out of JJ Watts' playbook, he donated a chunk of his own money, over $500,000, and started an online fundraiser that raised another $250,000.
Barea also got help from Mavericks billionaire owner, Mark Cuban, who lent Barea his private plane to transport goods and supplies to the hurricane-ravaged island.
For his efforts, the NBA has confirmed that Barea will be given the October NBA Cares Community Assist Award. It is a monthly award given to the player who has given selflessly to his community, or the world at large.
If anyone deserves the most recent incarnation of this award, it is Barea, who has made it his mission to help Puerto Rico get back on its feet. Check out the video from CBSDFW.
NBAcares also put together a story about how Barea, with help from Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban managed to make a difference to the ravaged island nation.
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