ATLANTA, GA (July 25, 2019) – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced TyRone Brown as a winner of the 2019 Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Hall Of Fame Human Spirit Award. Harlem Globetrotter, motivational speaker and literacy advocate TyRone Brown joins nine-time NBA All-Star and community activist Carmelo Anthony; and three-time Olympic gold medalist, former WNBA player and community leader Dawn Staley. A prestigious honor bestowed upon only 35 people in its history; past winners of the award include Dwayne Wade, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, David Robinson, Grant Hill and Dikembe Mutombo.
“The Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to recognize this year’s individuals for the positive impact they have had on a national and global scale,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “The Mannie Jackson Award is an esteemed honor awarded to those with the highest level of dedication to using their platforms and resources to make an impact in the lives of others, and these honorees have exemplified their dedication to a variety of worthy causes.”
Brown’s Four Million Mile Journey
Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, award winner TyRone “Hollywood” Brown’s stirring ability to turn life lessons into life’s blessings has given him a unique perspective, heartfelt concern and countless opportunities to help others. Brown is recognized as one of the greats in the history of the Harlem Globetrotters, and yet, his social impact far exceeds what he has accomplished on the court. Brown is currently a literacy and character educational speaker who has reached over 5 million children at school districts, corporations and nonprofits across the United States and Canada. In fact, he has reached over 1.9 million kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school children across the country at nearly 2,400 schools, traveled nearly 4 million miles and visited all 50 states in 23 years of service. Author of the children’s book, “A Piece Of Paper”, Brown credits his success to perseverance, hard work and a willingness to pay it forward, reach back and reach out to help children develop a thirst for reading. For three consecutive years, Brown served as a spokesperson for the National Education Association (NEA), promoting the Green Eggs To Hamlet Program, which was the precursor to the annual Read Across America Program.
Brown founded the Ambassadors of Responsibility Foundation to enable former teammates to better serve elementary and middle school students across the country. The foundation is a conduit to fight, and ultimately eradicate, illiteracy via books and school-wide enrichment programs. Brown visits more than 100 schools a year. He also delivers books to students at failing and underperforming schools.
“I am deeply thankful to Mannie Jackson, the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, the Harlem Globetrotter organization and teammates across the country. I am honored by this recognition and dedicate it to the thousands of children I’ve talked to about reading, entertained with basketball tricks and in some way, encouraged them to be their best—and those I have yet to meet,” said TyRone Brown. “I continue to be inspired to reach countless children at schools across the country who need encouragement, words of affirmation and insights about the invaluable, lasting benefits of hard work, goal setting and reading.”
The Mannie Jackson – Basketball Human Spirit Award
Established in 2007, the Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award honors individuals who have found the game of basketball to be a contributing aspect of their personal growth and accomplishment, a place to develop an understanding of others and an avenue that has helped shape his or her growth into a recognized visionary leader. Winners must reflect the values of Mannie Jackson’s life-long mission to overcome obstacles and challenge the status quo, while taking responsibility for his or her actions and seeking the highest standard of excellence. Brown was chosen, along with Anthony and Staley, from a large candidate pool that represents every level of basketball and is reviewed annually by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Mr. Jackson.
“A Hall of Fame should recognize great athletes, but also the great people who are in athletics and are doing extraordinary things for their communities,” said Mannie Jackson, the Award’s namesake, former star for the Harlem Globetrotters and the first African-American owner of a major international sports and entertainment organization. “I am proud to say the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Leadership continues doing an extraordinary job of identifying the ‘greats’ in the basketball community who do positive things for humankind.”
The Mannie Jackson – Basketball Human Spirit Award Winners 2007–2018
2018: J.J. Barea, Tina Charles and Boris Dias 2012: Jim Calhoun, Grant Hill, Dr. Richard Lapchick
2017: Bob Hurley, Nancy Lierberman, Dwyane Wade 2011: Chauncey Billups, Dr. John “Jumpin’ Johnson, V Foundation
2016: Chris Paul, Jalen Rose, Tubby Smith 2010: Jim Boeheim, Samuel Dalembert, Alfreda Harris
2015: Paul Fireman, Bill Self, Steve Smith 2009: Ken Hudson, Bob Lanier, Alonzo Mourning
2014: Bob Delaney, Robert L. Johnson 2008: Sonny Hill, David Robinson
2013: Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Pat Summitt, Boo Williams 2007: Dikembe Mutombo
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was born, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an independent non-profit 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to promoting, preserving and celebrating the game of basketball at every level—men and women, amateur and professional players, coaches and contributors, both domestically and internationally. The Hall of Fame museum is home to more than 400 inductees and over 40,000 square feet of basketball history. Nearly 200,000 people visit the Hall of Fame museum each year to learn about the game. Best known for its annual marquee Enshrinement Ceremony honoring the game’s elite, the Hall of Fame operations over 70 high school and collegiate competitions annually throughout the country and abroad. For more information about the Basketball Hall of Fame, its museum and events, visit www.hoophall.org