Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea and his native country of Puerto Rico got a major assist from Mavs owner Mark Cuban on Monday.
Barea’s boss loaned the Mavs’ team plane to the veteran point guard so he could bring supplies to the hurricane-battered island to help with recovery efforts, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico last week as a category 4 storm, causing tens of billions of dollars in damage and knocking out power to the entire island of more than 3 million people.
The powerful storm has killed at least 19 people in its march through the Caribbean, including 15 in Dominica and two in Guadeloupe.
"That's a situation that he's got to take care of," coach Rick Carlisle said, according to ESPN. "Mark gave him our team plane. They loaded up a bunch of stuff, supplies, etc., to take over to Puerto Rico, and they're going to turn around and come back. He's 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, the only active Puerto Rican NBA player, will miss the opening day of Mavs training camp for the visit to his home country.
MacMahon reported that Barea hadn’t been in contact with his parents until Sunday. He organized a trip to bring food, water and other necessities to the most-affected areas, and with Cuban’s help, left Monday night. He’s expected to return Tuesday night.
Barea started an online fundraiser that has raised over $96,000 of a $150,000 goal.
Mavs ManiAAc Robert Maiden, also knows as "Big Rob," posted a photo of Barea on the team charter Tuesday.
A post shared by Big Rob (@bigtallrob) on