MESQUITE – For Thanksgiving, ‘tis the season for Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris to do what he likes to do best.
Hand out free turkeys.
On Thursday, Mavs guard Deron Williams and Harris handed out turkeys to 250 needy families at Buckner International. For both players, they categorically acknowledged that they received as much pleasure in helping the less fortunate as the recipients themselves.
"Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday,’’ Harris told the Star-Telegram. "I grew up loving it and spending time with family.
"It’s a good time to give back, especially to the less fortunate, and to be able to feed them on Thanksgivings.’’
Albertsons and Tom Thumb supported Thursday’s event, and donated corn, green beans, cake mix, cranberry sauce, butter potatoes, candied yams and stuffing.
For Harris and Williams, this was a safe haven of sorts and allowed them to get their minds far away from the 2-8 record the Mavs have pieced together thus far this season.
"It’s just great to be able to come out here and give to people that are less fortunate,’’ Williams said. "If we can help out so they have a great meal on Thanksgivings, then that’s great.’’
This is the third year Harris has fed the needy for Thanksgiving, and the second year for Williams. And Harris, who is from Milwaukee, WI, isn’t just spreading holiday cheer in the Fort Worth-Dallas area.
"I also do one in Milwaukee that feeds 6,000 families,’’ Harris said. "It’ll be (next) Thursday.
"I won’t personally be there, but my family will be down there handing out turkeys. It’s something that I just love to do and something that I enjoy doing, and I’m glad to be able to share it with Deron these last two years.’’
Williams, who isn’t sure if he’ll be able to play in Friday’s home game against Memphis because he re-aggravated his strained left calf during Wednesday’s loss in Boston, has a soft spot for those who are less fortunate.
"I know how tough it can be, because I was raised by a single mom, and Thanksgiving and Christmas you’ve got a lot to think about,’’ Williams said. "Like I said, if we can come out here and just help them in any way and put a smile on their face, it’s great for them to see us out here doing these things.
"And also other people see us, so they may want to give back in any way they can. Whether it’s donating time, money or whatever – there’s so many ways you can give back.’’