Home One community The Mavs inspire love of travel, teach youngsters about international players with cutting-edge new virtual program

The Mavs inspire love of travel, teach youngsters about international players with cutting-edge new virtual program


A journey of a thousand miles truly begins with a click for kids these days.

This summer, South Dallas middle schoolers have practically traveled the world, thanks to a cutting-edge program created by Mavs Take ACTION! and the Too Fly Foundation.

Students simply put on headphones and zoomed around the world to visit the spectacular landscapes of Slovenia to the fortresses of Würzburg, Germany.

Afterwards, the youngsters opened a Mavs-inspired binder and answered travel questions about each country and the players who call the destination home.

“Mavs, take ACTION!” I wanted to work with Too Fly because of the innovative aspect of providing travel experiences to students who may not have had the opportunity,” said Kamri Brown, Social Accountability Coordinator Mavs companies.

“We wanted to make sure that all students had the same opportunities and were exposed to programs like Too Fly. We love being able to create the “Mavs Tour”, which gave students an immersive experience in the countries of their favorite Mavs players. »

In February 2022, The Mavs and Mavs Foundation donated the most comprehensive technology center in franchise history to For Oak Cliff. The organization is now located in the former Moorland Family YMCA, which served as a community center for black leaders during part of the Jim Crow era and the civil rights movement.

Now he belongs to a new generation of world changers and – world travelers.

Indeed, in February, the Mavs donated new high-tech Oculus headsets at the For Oak Cliff Tech Dedication to allow people to travel virtually. The manual and the program came next and this summer it all hit new heights.


International travel is essential for the Mavericks, as the franchise has long been one of the most diverse teams in the NBA, with players representing various nations over the past 40-plus years.

Current international players on the list include Dāvis Bertāns (Latvia), Luka Doncic (Slovenia), Josh Green (Australia), Maxi Kleber (Germany), Frank Ntilikina (Rwanda/Belgium/France) and Dwight Powell (Canada).

Ntilikina, a 6-4 guard for the Dallas Mavs, has perhaps one of the NBA’s most compelling international histories. His parents fled war-torn Rwanda and moved to Belgium, where the future NBA star was born. A few years later, his family immigrated to France, where Ntilikina dazzled on the basketball courts.

Last summer he won a silver medal with France at the Tokyo Olympics and published a children’s book about his life.

Fleeing a country during genocide and starting over in a new country is an extraordinary story of survival. Ntilikina is proud of every country he represents, including Rwanda, where his parents were born and raised. Stories like this show why the Mavs wanted to tap into the world of travel with young people.

Ntilikina and Doncic, from Ljubljana, Slovenia, were just 19 when they made their NBA debuts, and everything was new on and off the court.

“You face a lot in life and as a foreigner,” Ntilikina explained in a previous interview. “You arrive in a new country and you are young, so you have to get used to a lot of things in basketball but also in life… and to deal with cultural differences.”

Thanks to the Too Fly Foundation and virtual headsets, kids can now visit Ntilikina’s hometown, as well as Doncic’s Slovenia and the other places the Mavs represent. It bridges the gap between gamers and youngsters in exciting new ways. This allows children to ask questions and form more meaningful relationships.

When the NBA focuses on the communities and countries where players come from, it builds confidence in kids locally and around the world. It humanizes players and gives kids the chance to dream big.

Last year, the NBA had 109 international players representing 39 countries around the world.

The Too Fly Foundation knows that a world outside of yours is life changing.

Co-founder Bola Ibidapo was born to Nigerian parents and from an early age was drawn to the world around her. His love for people fueled his passions.

Ibidapo also believed that traveling shouldn’t be a privilege, so she exercised her faith and co-founded the Too Fly Foundation with her friend Brandon Miller in 2016 to raise the next generation of leaders.

She thinks the time has come to mold a leader.

“And I’m proud to say I’m doing my part to encourage these brilliant youngsters,” Ibidapo said.

Too Fly aims to bridge the gap between students and opportunities by providing travel resources and experiences. The foundation says travel can transform and inspire the next generation. This is especially true in the era of COVID-19 and as the economy takes a hit.

[email protected] was created at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ibidapo, who also serves as executive director. “Too Fly wanted to create an experience that sparked the curiosity of young people at home, who are probably not given or exposed to the opportunity to travel.”

Too Fly offers travel grants and passport grants to underserved students who wish to study or volunteer abroad but may not have the financial support to do so.

The Too Fly binder created with the Dallas Mavs is perhaps one of the coolest travel and basketball prints designed for kids. Each page brings athletes and countries to life and stimulates the creativity of young and old.

The travel experience and program was shared with For Oak Cliff students in June 2022.

Too Fly and the Dallas Mavericks plan to expand the program to Dallas in 2022-23. For Oak Cliff will also continue to drive technology opportunities for children and families in the Oak Cliff superblock.

“Representing the Dallas Mavericks meant a lot to me growing up in this community,” said For Oak Cliff co-founder Taylor Toynes. “For the Mavs to always come and be very familiar is a real relationship. Building a real relationship with a professional sports team is a huge encouragement.