PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY ) –Portsmouth native and Dallas Mavericks NBA player Dorian Finney-Smith is giving back to his community this weekend.
The Finney Family First Foundation held its first black-tie Gala Friday night with keynote speaker Mark Cuban, the owner of the Mavericks. During the gala, Finney-Smith tells the Sportswrap, that he wants to help his hometown.
“The city of Portsmouth, [where] I’m from, it’s struggling right now with crime. So, I’m trying to give the youth more possibilities to be successful,” said Finney.
Saturday morning I.C. Norcom High school unveiled its very own display with the items from Finney-Smith’s high school, college, and professional journey.
The showcase sits right outside of the gym, where he fell in love with the game and led the team to Group AAA championships in both 2010 and 2011.
“It gives me the chills, a lot of blood sweat in tears in this place,” said Finney-Smith, “This is probably the most fun I had playing basketball. [You] don’t have to worry about anyone getting paid, you’re just doing it all for the love. I miss that!”
The NBA player also hosted his 5th annual kids’ basketball camp Saturday, which had about 150 registered campers. “It was a lot more than we thought it was going to be, we ran out of shirts. My son came out with a 3X,” said Finney-Smith. “But it’s all love!”
Congressman Bobby Scott, Portsmouth Mayor Shannon Glover, School Board Superintendent Dr. Elie Bracy III, and school board members Dr. Cardell Patillo and LaKeesha ‘Klu’ Atkinson, were among the crowd of supporters.
Norcom High Principal Dr. Laguna Foster calls him a success story from Portsmouth.”There are a lot of stories out there and a lot of stories are untold. This is one of the greater ones that we have to stop and recognize and the accomplishments. Our students need that,” said Dr. Foster.
Foster also said the school hopes will retire his jersey number, a goal all students can achieve.
“It’s not just in sports but it is in academics also. Everyone has their own showcase, and they are responsible for placing things in that showcase that they can remember to use as encouragement,” said Foster. “Work on your showcase kids, it is waiting for you.”
The Finny Family First Foundation will also host a free community day, softball tournament and cookout Sunday at Douglas Park from 11a.m. to 7p.m.