Texas Legends assistant general manager Del Harris will receive the John Wooden “Keys to Life” Award during ceremonies held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington next month at the NCAA Final Four.
The award is given to a professional or college basketball coach or player who models the characteristics of Wooden, the late, legendary coach who led UCLA to 10 national titles from 1964-75.
“John Wooden was the guy that was the epitome of basketball for me and a lot of others when we were kids,” Harris said. “So when I started coaching, he was on top, and I went wherever I could to listen to his clinics.
“I was a poor representation of John Wooden, I’m sure. But when I was in Los Angeles, I was able to spend time with him. I sat at the UCLA practices to watch his team practice. I took him to lunch; I sat in his apartment an entire afternoon just talking about basketball and life.”
Harris posted a 556-457 record while coaching 14 seasons for the Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. He was a Mavericks assistant from 2000-07.
Former Legends coach Nancy Lieberman has been chosen as this year’s winner of the Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Women’s College Basketball award.
Lieberman will receive the award next month during the NCAA Final Four.
A Basketball Hall of Famer and one of the best players in women’s basketball history, Lieberman was taken aback by the award.
“There are so many esteemed people who have been great contributors over the years to the history of women’s basketball,” Lieberman said. “And I was overwhelmed that they would think of me in that breath to be part of this.”
Havlicek a big Dirk fan
Rick Carlisle has a firsthand account on how Boston Celtics legend John Havlicek feels about Dirk Nowitzki.
“His son went to Virginia, so I know their family a little bit because of that,” said Carlisle, a former Celtic who also attended Virginia. “The only thing I can tell you for sure is John Havlicek is a huge fan of Dirk Nowitzki and what he’s done in his career, not only just individually but from a team standpoint and a competitive standpoint and wanting to take on the responsibility of winning and losing and those kinds of things.”
Havlicek’s name popped up in Carlisle’s pregame press conference because of Nowitzki, who is now just 13 points away from passing the Celtic great for 12th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Mavs recall Mekel
The Mavs recalled point guard Gal Mekel from the D-League on Sunday.
In three games with the Texas Legends last week, Mekel averaged 9.3 points, 3.o rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 27.7 minutes.
Mo gets Mavs jersey
Mavs owner Mark Cuban presented former Dallas Stars captain Mike Modano with a blue-and-white Mavs’ No. 9 jersey during halftime of Sunday’s game.
The Stars retired Modano’s No. 9 jersey on Saturday, and it hangs in the American Airlines Center.