Dwyane Wade Named Winner of Basketball’s Human Spirit Award

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the winners of the 2017 Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award. They are high school coaching legend and four-time National Champion Bob Hurley, basketball trailblazer and Sacramento Kings assistant coach Nancy Lieberman and 14-year NBA veteran and 3-time NBA Champion Dwyane Wade. The winners will be recognized on Thursday, September 7th at the Reunion Dinner at the Hall of Fame during Enshrinement Weekend.

“The Mannie Jackson Award is an esteemed honor awarded only to those with the highest level of dedication to making a positive impact in the lives of others,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “The Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to recognize Bob Hurley, Nancy Lieberman and Dwyane Wade as three exceptional humanitarians who have used basketball as a platform to improve the world around them, while creating opportunities for the next generation of leaders.”

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.

“A Hall of Fame should recognize great athletes, but also the great people who are in athletics and are doing extraordinary things for their communities,” said Mannie Jackson, the Award’s namesake. “I am proud to report the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Leadership continues doing an extraordinary job of identifying the ‘greats’ in the basketball community who do positive things for Humankind.”

Hurley, Lieberman and Wade 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. He will be enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.


The Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award Winners 2017

Bob Hurley – Bob Hurley Sr., President of St. Anthony High School, has guided, mentored, and coached

students, student-athletes, faculty and parents alike for over 40 years, beginning with his role of varsity basketball coach in 1972. With his leadership, every St. Anthony’s graduate in the past 21 years has been accepted to college. A Jersey City native, Hurley is a highly motivated and involved, community-oriented leader. He worked as a Hudson County Probation Officer for 28 years receiving numerous awards and retired from Probation in 2001. He then moved to the position of Director of Recreational Services for Jersey City and retired in 2008. As someone who recognizes and values the influence a coach can have on athletes off the court, Hurley has also had tremendous success with his teams on the court through the decades. Hurley is currently ranked third for the most wins in boys’ high school basketball history with a record of 1162-119, including eight undefeated seasons and four National titles.

Nancy Lieberman – As the youngest basketball player in Olympic history to win a medal and first woman to coach a men’s professional basketball team as part of the NBA D-League, Nancy Lieberman has continually broken barriers and overcome the odds. Nancy Lieberman Charities is committed to helping others do the same by promoting healthy lifestyles and developing educational opportunities for economically disadvantaged youth. Since its inception, Nancy Lieberman Charities has served over 3 million children through a variety of programs including college scholarships, laptop and school supply giveaways, and basketball court and playground installations. Over the past 36 years, an additional 4 million children have participated in Nancy Lieberman basketball camps and clinics as well. In 2016, Lieberman developed Kids & Cops Dream Courts, as a means to foster positive relationships between youth and Police Departments across the country, starting with 12 courts and clinics in the Dallas area. Nancy Lieberman Charities continues to be a catalyst for the development of young girls and boys throughout the country by using basketball as a motivational tool.

Dwyane Wade – Understanding that his life is bigger than basketball, 12-time NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade and his family established the Wade’s World Foundation in 2003, a nonprofit charity organization dedicated to giving back to at-risk communities of Chicago, Milwaukee, and the South Florida region. The foundation is dedicated to providing opportunities that enable children to overcome challenges, excel academically and reach their maximum potential while focusing on the initiatives of literacy, health and fatherhood. With a personal goal to give every child a shot at life, Dwyane and WWF support a variety of programs including literacy initiatives, youth basketball clinics, court refurbishments and holiday giving. Wade and his foundation have received numerous awards over the past 14 years including the NBA Cares season-long Kia Community Assist Award in 2013 and the BET Humanitarian Award.


The Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award Winners 2007-2016

2016: Chris Paul, Jalen Rose, Tubby Smith

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