Friday, April 8, 2011

V Foundation Gets Honor; Vitale Gala coming soon

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts announced that New York Knicks guard Chauncey Billups, The V Foundation for Cancer Research, and former Harlem Globetrotter and college basketball All-American Dr. John “Jumpin’ Johnny” Kline, have been named winners of The Mannie Jackson - Basketball’s Human Spirit Award. The winners will be recognized on August 11 during events leading up to the 2011 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremonies.

“We are delighted to honor such a remarkable group for their contributions to the basketball community with The Mannie Jackson, Basketball’s Human Spirit Award,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “This year’s recipients have truly made a measurable impact through their selflessness, leadership and determination in the communities and constituencies they serve.”

The criteria for award winners includes embracing the core values of the game through hard work, dedication, and resilience; striving to continuously improve the community they serve, and making an ongoing commitment to others. Beyond the game, award winners must reflect the values of Mannie Jackson’s life-long mission to overcome obstacles and challenge the status quo, while taking responsibility for personal actions and seeking the highest standard of excellence.

Billups, The V Foundation and Kline were chosen from a group of six finalists after nominations were screened by a selection committee, appointed by the Hall of Fame and Mr. Jackson. Beginning in 2009, the finalists were grouped in three categories, representing the professional, amateur and grassroots levels of basketball.

As we all know around these parts, ESPN basketball analyst and Lakewood Ranch resident Dick Vitale has a played an instrumental role in the V Foundation’s work and serves on the board of directors.

His 6th Annual Dick Vitale Gala, which raises significant amounts of money for the Foundation, will be held May 20th at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota when he honors basketball coaches John Calipari from Kentucky and Roy Williams of North Carolina.

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