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Culture / Society

Dirk Nowitzki Lures Dallas’ Biggest Sports Stars to the Tennis Court

Tony Romo, Andy Roddick and Owen Wilson All Show to Help Harvey Victims

BY // 09.28.17
photography Danny Bollinger

When Dirk Nowitzki gets on the court, you know he means serious business. The iconic Dallas Mavericks star traded out his jersey for tennis whites and gathered a crew of famous friends for the 2nd annual Dirk Nowitzki Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic, presented by Morgan Stanley.

In a true baller move, Nowitzki decided to donate the proceeds from the September event – an impressive $960,000, which was matched by Mark Cuban to amount to $1.92 million – to the families and children affected by Hurricane Harvey.

The weekend’s star-studded crew included Dallas native and Hollywood multi-hyphenate Owen Wilson, Hockey Hall of Famer Mike Modano, retired tennis star Andy Roddick, Mavericks guard J.J. Barea and a slew of talented tennis pros.

Festivities began with a invitation-only dinner party for players and major donors at the posh Joule Hotel. Tiffany Cuban, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Nancy Rogers attended, and the Dallas Mavericks came out in full force to show their support.

Highlights of the evening included a soulful performance by singer-songwriter Amos Lee, and a rowdy live auction. Covetable items up for grabs included a Texas Rangers package with batting practice and a meet-and-greet with All-Star Elvis Andrus and manager Jeff Banister, a Dallas Stars meet-up with hunky hockey players Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, and an NBA package with signed basketballs from Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant, plus courtside seats.

The grand finale of the auction was a dinner at the The Star’s private Cowboy Club with iconic Dallas sportsmen Nowitzki, Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Mike Modano, Ivan Pudge Rodriguez and Harrison Barnes.

On the next day, tennis pros and amateurs went to battle on the courts of SMU. A sold-out crowd watched the four-hour-long throwdown in the 95-degree Texas heat. American tennis pro Donald Young and amateur Justin Whitman (with the encouragement of Kimberly Schlegal Whitman) emerged victorious after defeating Barea and amateur Jim Mckinney.

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