The dress code was blue tie for a star-studded Mavs Ball that raised a lot of green.
About 800 supporters of the Dallas Mavericks Foundation gathered on the floor of the American Airlines Center on March 1 for the glittering gala. The foundation raises money to support nonprofit organizations serving children, women, and families in need, and the fourth annual Mavs Ball was the biggest one yet.
Upon arrival, local celebrities, VIPs, and current and past Mavericks players and their dates walked the blue carpet and stopped for interviews and photos. Among them were Dirk and Jessica Nowitzki, Luka Doncic and Anamaria Goltes, Maximilian Kleber and Brittany Gibson, Dorian Finney-Smith and Jasmine Branch, Devin Harris and Meghan Allen, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, Mavs owner Mark Cuban, head coach Rick Carlisle, and CEO Cynt Marshall.
After champagne and hors d'oeuvres at a sponsor reception, guests walked down a corridor lit with towering beams filled with photos at various Dallas Mavericks community events. Blue carpeted steps led them down to the AAC basketball court, which had been transformed into a glittering, elegant setting embellished with sparkling gold decor.
Patrons sat down to a three-course dinner created by Levy executive chef Mark Mabry, which included seared beef tenderloin topped with grilled Gulf shrimp and béarnaise sauce. Dessert was a decadent milk chocolate cake stacked with layers of white and dark chocolate mousse and topped with golden flakes and Chantilly cream.
Dallas Mavericks senior event manager Ashley Gambino and her staff had plenty more in store for the night.
In a fierce live auction, Nowitzki would shine as the star attraction, as a bidder threw down $200,000 for a dinner for seven at Nick and Sam’s Steakhouse with the Mavericks legend . (Nowitzki later revealed to The Dallas Morning News that Cuban was the high bidder.) Soon another bidding war broke out to eat dinner with Dirk — this one earned an additional $140,000.
A chance to attend a live taping of ABC’s hit show Shark Tank with Cuban and fellow sharks went for $45,000, and courtside seats with Cuban garnered $20,000 more.
In the silent auction, a jersey worn by Doncic — a favorite to win the NBA’s Rookie of the Year honor — nabbed the highest bid, at $9,051.
A surprise moment came when Carlisle and Mark Thompson, founder of presenting sponsor Smith Thompson Security, presented Mavs Maniaac captain Rob “Big Rob” Maiden — one of the dance team’s original 2002 members — with his own 2011 Mavericks NBA championship ring.
The party continued when Grammy-award winning trio Boyz II Men took the stage to entertain the sold-out crowd.
Although not everyone exited with an auction item, no one left empty handed. Every guest took home Swarovski Bluetooth speakers embellished with 15 sparkling crystals and headphones wrapped in tiny boxes sealed with a golden ribbon.
By night’s end, the Mavs Foundation’s 2019 Mavs Ball scored an eye-popping $1.34 million.
“The night was absolutely amazing,” says Katie Edwards, Dallas Mavericks vice president of community relations and president of the Mavs Foundation, in a release. “The Mavs family has always supported the community, but I was stunned to see this level of support from our friends and partners. To be able to come together to celebrate the team and the things we do off the court, it just shows the commitment of our fans and the love they have for Dirk and excitement for the future.”
The Mavs Foundation has granted grant over $5 million to nonprofit organizations serving local children, women, and families. In addition, the foundation has built 40 safe Learn and Playspaces, including 24 basketball courts and 16 Reading & Learning Centers.