Mavericks guard J.J. Barea is flying to his birthplace of Puerto Rico on Mark Cuban’s team plane, planning to drop off supplies and pick up his family members, according to an update from Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle at the team’s Tuesday practice.
Mark Cuban loaned the team plane to J.J. Barea to fly supplies to Puerto Rico. Barea will return tonight with his mother and grandmother.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) September 26, 2017
Barea was born in Puerto Rico, although he moved to Miami for high school and later went to college at Northeastern University. Of course, Barea was given an excused absence for the Mavericks’ first day of training camp. Carlisle said that he’ll be back Tuesday night.
Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States, is suffering from an unprecedented humanitarian crisis after being struck by Hurricane Maria Sept. 20. Maria knocked out nearly all of the country’s electrical grid and caused massive flooding, as well as damage from Category 5 winds. Maria was the 10th-strongest storm recorded in the Atlanta Ocean.
You can donate here to a Puerto Rico relief fund that Barea and his wife, Viviana Ortiz, have set up.
“The money is going to go straight to my foundation,” Barea told ESPN last week. “I’m going to be the one handling it. We’re going to go straight to the people that need it. We’re not going to give it to anybody else. It’s going to go straight to where it needs to be. I’ve got my people in Puerto Rico, and we’ll know who really needs the most help and go from there.”