Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban loaned the team’s private plane to backup point guard J.J. Barea on Monday afternoon to transport food, water and supplies to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. Barea, a native of Puerto Rico who has spent all but three years of his NBA career with the Mavericks, returned Tuesday night with his mother and grandmother.
“They loaded up a bunch of stuff, supplies, et cetera, to take over to Puerto Rico, and they’re going to turn around and come back,” Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle told ESPN during Media Day. “[Barea is] going to take his mom and grandmother back with him, and my understanding is his dad is going to stay over there and slug it out with all of the recovery efforts.”
Barea set up a YouCaring fundraiser with his wife, Viviana Ortiz, to raise money for relief shortly after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. With a goal of raising $150,000, they have raised over $120,000 from 1,100 donors. All the funds, they write, “will be destined to help in the recovery.” In response, Cuban said he was “really proud” of Barea for how quickly he got involved.
— Bobby Karalla (@bobbykaralla) September 27, 2017
Maria is the worst storm to hit Puerto Rico in nearly 90 years, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Nicole Friedman, causing as much as $85 billion in insured losses. Barea wasn’t able to get through to his parents until Sunday because of the destruction, and he told Eddie Sefko of Dallas Morning News that it is “still rough there.”