Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea took it upon himself to personally lend aid to Puerto Rico’s residents in the aftermath of the storm. The point guard who’s usually dishing out assist, received one this time. From Billionaire, and Dallas Mavericks owner Marc Cuban. Cuban lent Barea the team’s private jet in an effort to assist in transporting supplies to the Island and U.S. territory. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle excused Barea from the team’s first practice of training camp so the point guard could partake in the humanitarian effort. Barea flew to Puerto Rico on Monday evening, when travel to the island was permissible. Coach Carlisle said Barea would be back in the US by Tuesday night and he was expected to be back at the Mavs training facility for practice on Wednesday morning. Barea raised nearly $150,000 in aid for Puerto Rico. He packed the Mavs plane with water, generators, food, and other badly needed supplies. Huge portions of the Island are still without power and clean water. On Rachel Maddow’s show last night, San Juan’s mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said “FEMA has boots on the ground and willing aid workers here, but their relief efforts are being blocked by officials who claim to be working on a relief plan.” She called the situation “frustrating.” Barea spoke to an MSNBC reporter when he landed in San Juan saying:
“Nothing in the world was going to stop me from being here. This is my home, everything to me. Puerto Rico has given me everything in life. For me to have the contacts and good friends in Dallas and Marc Cuban gave the team plane and we’re trying to bring another one if it all goes good.”
Barea is expected to bring his mother and grandmother back to the United States when he returns. He says he has not spoken to either since the storm hit the Island.