Dirk Nowitzki’s Celebrity Tennis Classic, starring Andy Roddick, Owen Wilson and others, raises funds to help Hurricane Harvey victims.
“We are raising money for Hurricane Harvey victims,” Dirk Nowitzki said as he opened up the introductory press conference to his Celebrity Tennis Classic.
On Saturday, September 16th, The Dirk Nowitzki Foundation hosted their 2nd Annual Celebrity Tennis Classic on the campus of SMU. An instant success last year, the classic was a hit again this year as every ticket sold out prior to the event.
Over 450 tickets were sold and standing room only tickets were available at the front gates for people walking up to the event.
Prior to the event, a press conference took place where all of the celebrities participating in the event sat alongside of Dirk.
From the Dallas Mavericks, Dirk was joined by J.J. Barea, who just got back on a red-eye flight from Los Angeles after debuting the new Nike “Statement” jersey for the Dallas Mavericks. Harrison Barnes played in the event last year, but Nowitzki joked that he wasn’t invited back because of how bad he was on the court.
Owen Wilson, a world-renowned actor known for his roles in Wedding Crashers, Zoolander and others, decided to fill in for his good friend, Ben Stiller.
“Ben was here last year and said he had a good time. I was excited when Dirk called and invited me to participate…I look at these guys and I don’t see how I lose today to be honest,” Wilson joked at the press conference.
In Nowitzki’s doubles match, he went head-to-head with another Dallas sports legend in Mike Modano. Modano is a Dallas Stars hockey legend and is in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
“Obviously for Dirk, we have known each other for 20+ years, we kind of grew up together in Dallas. We did a lot of things, accomplished a lot of things, some great memories in this town. We try to always give back to this city. Dirk has been an amazing ambassador to this town, to the Mavericks, and basketball worldwide,” Modano said.
For sports fans in Dallas over the past 20 years, spoiled is the word in regards to professionalism and excellence in cheering for a star athlete.
The biggest star at the event outside of Dirk Nowitzki was undoubtedly former U.S. Open Champion, Andy Roddick. Roddick was the MVP of Dirk’s Celebrity Baseball game from earlier in the summer and admitted that he “takes these things a little more seriously” that he should as he joked.
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One of the highlights of the press conference was when J.J. Barea was asked how many times Dirk had called him a “burger” (a classic Dirk insult and trash talking word) throughout his career. Before Barea could answer, Dirk interrupted saying “he’s not even a burger, he’s a little slider. He’s a little turkey slider.”
Barea, and his partner Jim McKinney, would reach the championship match where they would be defeated by American tennis pro Donald Young and amateur Justin Whitman.
All of the proceeds raised from the Tennis Classic is going towards aiding victims from Hurricane Harvey. In addition to that, Mark Cuban agreed to match all proceeds up to $2 million.
The final numbers will be announced later in the week.
Dirk Nowitzki is a legend on the basketball court, but the outreach he does off the court has been just as impressive throughout his career.