Harris, along with Sacramento Kings center Samuel Dalembert and Hall of Fame Coach Jim Boeheim of Syracuse University were named winners of the 2010 Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award. The award is presented to individuals who have honored the game of basketball by virtue of their personal growth and life-long accomplishments.
"As the longest-serving member of the appointed Boston School Committee, Mrs. Harris has been my personal guide," said Mayor Menino. "I trust Alfreda Harris: her good sense, her judgment, her straight talk, her values. In everything she does, I know that her top priority is and always has been in the best interest of kids. There are many who claim to make a difference; Alfreda Harris is among the few who actually do. She is the real deal."
Harris founded the SAT Preparation Program serving high school students in Boston while also founding and coordinating girls’ basketball leagues and Amateur Athletic Union teams for the city. Harris also founded the Owen Wells Fitness Center and the Reebok Educational Athletic Partnership that provides students with community programs in social development, computer skills and tutoring. Beyond serving on the Boston School Committee, Harris also serves as a Board member for the Shelburne Community Council, Boston Neighborhood Basketball League and the Police Athletic League.
The criteria for award winners include embracing the core values of the game, hard-work, striving to improve the community and making a commitment to others. Beyond the game, award winners must reflect the values of Mannie Jackson’s life-long mission to overcome obstacles and challenge the status quo, while taking responsibility for his or her actions and seeking the highest standard of excellence.
Read the press release.