The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced that former University of Kentucky head coach Tubby Smith, now at Memphis, is one of three winners of the 2016 Mannie Jackson award for their humanitarian efforts.
The Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul and ABC/ESPN basketball analyst Jalen Rose are also being honored. They will be recognized on Thursday, Sept. 8, during enshrinement weekend.
Established in 2007, the “Mannie Jackson — Basketball’s Human Spirit Award” is named for the former Harlem Globetrotters star. He saved that squad from near extinction in 1993 when he purchased the team, the Hall of Fame’s news release said. Under Jackson’s watch, the Globetrotters’ charitable contributions totaled over $15 million.
“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 Jackson, who is part of the committee that votes on the award. “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.”
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Smith was the 2003 Naismith Coach of the Year and is 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. 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. That 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 release said.
Past winners of the Mannie Jackson award include:
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