Society / Profiles

Mavericks Forward Dwight Powell Provides a Pandemic Update, and How He’s Continuing Philanthropic Work Remotely

The NBA Player Embraces Zoom Life While Rehabbing in the Bubble

BY // 08.13.20
photography Ana Hop

In its fourth year, NorthPark Center’s Ambassador program boldly merges the worlds of fashion, art and philanthropy. The Ambassadors ― a masterful idea brought to life by Nancy A. Nasher and Kimberly Schlegel Whitman ― shines the spotlight on Dallas’ top influencers and the nonprofits they support.

Hand-selected for their philanthropic contributions, each year-long ambassadorship offers the opportunity to partner with NorthPark Center and its retailers for various events and initiatives to benefit their respective charitable organization. This year’s Ambassadors possess and unswerving commitment to the community, and are unshakably tethered to fashion, art and stylish philanthropy.

Today, we catch up with Dwight Powell. The power forward for the Dallas Mavericks is comfortable playing on many different courts. Sometimes, when he takes off his Mavericks uniform, he dons a cape ― working hard on behalf of families in need.

Dwight Powell Children and Family Support Fund at UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Harrold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center does exemplary work walking alongside families struggling with the disease. Powell’s favorite cause provides guidance, education and resources to help patients and their children cope with cancer.

Why are you passionate about this charitable organization?
I feel a great deal of passion for the Children and Family Support Fund because growing up in a single parent home, I myself was once faced with the reality of losing a parent to cancer, and found myself ill-prepared and uniformed. I was extremely lucky to have a close friend whose family took me in and looked out for me, but I know that’s not always the case.

With social distancing, how are you staying engaged with your friends and community?
As difficult as it has been to be away from friends and family, luckily we have all sorts of ways of interacting digitally. So, I have been taking advantage of modern social technologies as much as I can to stay connected ― everything from social media, to Zoom and FaceTime on a nearly daily basis since this all began.

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NorthPark is at the center of both fashion and art. Describe your own fashion and art interests:
My fashion interests tend to gravitate to the more formal. I enjoy well-tailored suits and clean, elegant looks. But, I also have another wardrobe that I primarily save for my personal life away from the cameras. That’s a lot more casual and oftentimes a little more typical, especially as compared to my game day attire.

As far as my taste in art, I like vibrant, bright colors and pieces with meaning behind them, either for myself or the person who created it.

What little luxuries, hobbies or rituals are keeping you sane these days?
Right now, I’m rehabbing a torn Achilles, so a majority of my energy and focus has been dedicated to that. A lot goes into relearning how to walk, run, jump and be agile at a high level again.

Combined with an increased focus on the precision of my nutrition, and getting adequate rest ― I’ve yet to find time to pick up any new hobbies. I dabble in the arts. Some mixed mediums on canvas, and some apparel, but most projects have been put on pause as I’ve increased workload on my rehab and am moving closer to playing again.

Describe your ideal day:
An ideal day for me would be a Mavs game day with a full, healthy roster, including myself.

In a perfect world, Covid-19 would be a triumph of the past, and we would have a packed arena for a meaningful game. I would have friends and family, as well as families and hospital staff from the Dwight Powell Family Support Fund at UTSW, in attendance to watch us win.

What is the Dwight Powell Children and Family Support Fund doing in times of COVID19 to continue its mission and cause?
The Children and Family Support Fund, continues to provide guidance, education, and resources to help patients and their children cope with cancer. The dedicated staff at UTSW is still in regular communication with the families they work with.

The families aren’t able to accompany patients to the hospital for treatments, in most cases right now, but they have been having regular Zooms to check in on everyone and keep everyone up to date on what resources are still available to them through the fund.

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