He Never Was a Bad Boy: While Kids Are Away, NBA Great Bob Lanier Paints a Dallas School

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

An oddly interesting scene unfolded on Inwood Road earlier today: NBA legend Bob Lanier and Key Coker, Executive Vice President of BBVA Compass Bank, chatting about banking globalization, financial diversification and the tightening of government regulations as they painted the walls of a Thomas J. Rusk Middle School classroom.

Lanier was in town as part of a partnership between the NBA and the bank to help clean up several of the nation's schools in need of rejuvenation. Former Dallas Mavericks Sam Perkins and Derek Harper and journeyman baller Felipe Lopez also volunteered their time, along with Tiffany Jackson, WNBA star and a Dallas native.

Thomas J. Rusk was the fifth of six schools to reap the benefits of the program, which provides $200,000 worth of renovations and an afternoon of manpower to put the improvements in place. It's essentially a four-hour blitz of painting, organizing and landscaping.

The event happened while the students were away on a field trip; they'll return tomorrow to a freshly spruced up school and tales of giant helpers doing the clandestine clean-up work.

Lanier, an ambassador for NBA Cares who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992, kicked off the event in the school's auditorium, pumping up about 80 volunteers. He told Unfair Park he's been volunteering since he was a kid.

"[My volunteering] started with my mother getting me involved with the church -- and mentoring kids when I got into high school," Lanier said. "It's in my DNA."

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.