Hill Recipient of Human Spirit Award

Posted: April 9, 2012

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced that Phoenix Suns forward Grant Hill, University of Connecticut men’s head coach Jim Calhoun and the Founder and Director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics In Sport, Dr. Richard Lapchick, have been named this year’s winners of The Mannie Jackson - Basketball’s Human Spirit Award. The winners will be recognized on September 6th during events leading up to the 2012 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremonies.

“This year’s winners of The Mannie Jackson - Basketball’s Human Spirit Award - are truly exceptional individuals,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “They have each greatly contributed to the improving of their 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.

“We are proud to honor three of the most deserving selections since the award was established,” said Jackson. “Having known all three personally, I admire their sustained work and contributions to both the game of basketball and their communities.”

Hill, Calhoun, and Lapchick 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.

Previous winners of the award include current NBA player Chauncey Billups and Samuel Dalembert; The V Foundation for Cancer Research; former Harlem Globetrotter and college basketball All-American Dr. John “Jumpin’ Johnny” Kline; former Georgetown University center and NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo; Hall of Famers David Robinson and Jim Boeheim; Philadelphia legend Sonny Hill; and 2009 tri-winners, former NBA official Ken Hudson, Hall of Famer Bob Lanier and former NBA All-Star and Georgetown standout Alonzo Mourning.

The Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award Winners 2012

Representing the Professional Game:

Grant Hill, Phoenix Suns Guard – Known for his positive attitude, strong work ethic and high moral code, Hill has routinely left his mark in a number of cities where he played professionally. He lends his support not only to a variety of national issues but to local issues as well. Hill was recently awarded a key to the city of Reston, Virginia, where he was raised with the proceeds from that reception going to the Medical Care for Children Partnership, which provides medical services for needy children in the county. Hill also appeared on behalf of Foot Locker and Fila, at a Detroit middle school to kick-off a program designed to replace backboards in 250 area schools. In addition, GMC Trucks sponsored his visit to the Michigan Special Olympics Women’s basketball team where he spoke, joked, and shot baskets with the players.

Representing the Amateur ranks:

Jim Calhoun, University of Connecticut Hall of Fame Head Coach – Calhoun has used his success to champion many causes during his tenure at the University of Connecticut. Having beaten cancer – twice, Coach Calhoun has devoted his time and money to help raise millions of dollars for cancer research and education. In 1998, he and his wife established the Calhoun Cardiology Research Fund, donating $125,000 to the UConn Health Center. Each year the Calhoun family host the Jim Calhoun Holiday Food Drive, which has raised over $1 million for the Connecticut Food Bank and Foodshare, providing over 1.6 million meals to families in need. Since 1994, Calhoun has served as honorary chairman for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, another example of his continued efforts to impact his community. Jim Calhoun was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005.

Representing the Grassroots ranks:

Dr. Richard Lapchick – Often described as “the social conscience of sport,” Lapchick became the only person named as “One of the 100 Most Powerful People in Sport” to head up a sport management program. He remains President and CEO of the National Consortium for Academics and Sport and helped bring the NCAS national office to UCF. In December of 2006, Lapchick, his wife and daughter and a group of DeVos students formed the Hope for Stanley Alliance which is organizing groups of student-athletes and sports management students to go to New Orleans to work in the reconstruction efforts in the devastated Ninth Ward. As of the fall of 2007, Hope for Stanley members have spent 19 weeks in the city in a partnership with the NOLA City Council. Lapchick was named an honorary citizen by the New Orleans City Council in October 2007.

The Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award Winners 2007-2011

2011 Award Winners

Representing the Professional game: Chauncey Billups

Representing the Amateur ranks: The V Foundation

Representing the Grassroots ranks: Dr. John “Jumpin’ Johnny” Kline

2010 Award Winners

Representing the Professional ranks: Samuel Dalembert

Representing the Amateur ranks: Jim Boeheim, Syracuse University

Representing the Grassroots ranks: Alfreda Harris

2009 Award Winners

Ken Hudson

Bob Lanier

Alonzo Mourning

2008 Award Winners

Sonny Hill

David Robinson

2007 Award Winner

Dikembe Mutombo