MVP Weekend Celebrity Hosts
Routinely the MVP Foundation partners with celebrities to host events to fulfill our mission to empower inner-city youth. Below is a partial listing of celebrities we have worked closely
2013 MVP Fatherhood Weekend Host
NBA Star & Author Etan Thomas
After a decorated four-year career at Syracuse where he was the school’s career leader in blocked shots and earned the title, “Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year” in 1999, Etan entered the NBA as a lottery pick. He then sustained a very successful 11-year career playing for three NBA teams, where he was called a “rebounder with a cause.”
Etan defies the stereotype of the “apathetic athlete,” and plants his roots in his budding literary career. Raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Thomas’ childhood was surrounded by books on the civil rights movement and politics in the 1960′s. Etan Thomas has made his mark far beyond the boundaries of a basketball court. Never afraid to voice his opinions, he has been an outspoken pillar in the community. In 2009, Thomas was honored with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation Inc. Legacy Award, and in 2012 was the recipient of the National Basketball Players Association Community Contribution Award.
He also served as a surrogate for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and was a guest speaker with DNC Chairman Governor Howard Dean during the “Register for Change” 50-State Bus Tour Campaign. In 2005, he released his first book, a collection of poems called More Than An Athlete and in May of 2012 he released his 2nd book, Fatherhood: Rising to the Ultimate Challenge. Currently, Etan travels throughout the country speaking and holding panels and town hall meetings to discuss the important issue of fatherhood and mentoring.
MVP Charity Weekend 2009-2011
Dallas Cowboys Running Back Felix Jones
Felix Jones, II was selected by the Dallas Cowboys as the team’s first pick in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft — only the fourth running back ever selected in the first round by the Cowboys! Capping off an outstanding high school career, Felix signed with the University of Arkansas (“Arkansas”) after being named the 2005 Tulsa World Player of the Year following his senior season at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma (“BTW”). While playing for BTW, Felix rushed for 2,282 yards and 48 touchdowns on 205 carries (11.1 avg.), and led BTW to a 13-1 record and a state championship runner-up finish.
Upon arriving on Arkansas’ campus, Felix continued to shine. He not only became the first freshman running back in school history to rush for 100 yards in his debut game, but he also became the first freshman in school history to earn first-team All-American honors after finishing second in the nation with a 31.9-yard kickoff return average. Felix closed out his collegiate career with 2,956 yards and 20 touchdowns on 386 carries, shattering school and SEC career-records by averaging 7.66 yards-per-rushing attempt (second highest in NCAA history!). Further, in just three years at Arkansas, Jones amassed 5,099 career all-purpose yards, and became only the second player in school history to crack 5,000 career all-purpose yards.
As a Cowboy, Felix has not disappointed. Felix quickly made a difference as he became the first rookie in the Cowboys’ 48-year history to score a touchdown in each of his first three games, and, in only his second game, set a Cowboy record with 247 kickoff return yards against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football. In fact, before an injury to his right toe forced Felix to have season-ending surgery after only six games, Felix was the consensus favorite to win NFL Rookie of the Year as he was one of only two rookies to win NFL Rookie of the Week three times (together with Atlanta Falcon QB Matt Ryan in sixteen games, as compared to Felix’s six games). Now, after months of grueling rehab, Felix is healthy and ready to regain his rightful title as the most dangerous offensive weapon in the entire NFL.
Off-the-field, Felix has been equally as busy and successful in his business and charitable pursuits. Felix’s marketing company Felix Jones 2, LLC (FJ2) allows him to partner with companies proven to share his values of excellence, integrity, humility, and productivity. Today FJ2 lists such companies as Proctor & Gamble, Arvest Bank, NIKE, Upper Deck, and Gameday Sports among its dozen or so clients. Additionally, because Felix fully recognizes and accepts the responsibility of utilizing the tremendous platform that comes with being a professional athlete, Felix volunteered to become the 1st Official Spokesperson for the City of Tulsa’s “Mentoring to the Max” program. Felix also has donated $10,000.00 of his own money to establish the Felix Jones, II Free ACT Training Program at the Salvation Army’s North Mabee Boys & Girls Club (“North Mabee”).