Dorian Finney-Smith arrived at Mavs Hoop Camp on Tuesday rested and rejuvenated. As usual he was upbeat, jovial and delighted to meet the children and play games with the campers.
“I just chilled out and played with my kids,” Finney-Smith said. “I’m trying to mentally prepare myself for next year. I also try to prepare myself physically and not to force myself too much. Sometimes I’ll try to get it back too quickly, but I’m going to try to find it this year.
A lot has happened in the month since the Portsmouth, Va. native played his last game of the season.
Finney-Smith enjoyed some down time with his three children, worked alongside his family to prepare for his next basketball camp at home – and he bought a new two-year-old show horse named Stevie.
“Gasoline prices are a little high right now,” Finney-Smith joked when explaining the new addition to the family. “(I have) a beautiful horse named Stevie, and I could change her name, but they said it was bad luck. We’ll see. She’s beautiful and my kids love her.
So what are the exact plans with Stevie?
“He’s a show horse, he’s a show horse…I could take a few lessons too,” Finney-Smith said. “I can do anything…like ride, do anything. I am a 6 foot 8 inch cowboy.
Posters on the NBA subreddit had a blast when they first spotted the photo of Finney-Smith posing with his new horse (admittedly, I laughed out loud reading all the comments).
One person dubbed him Dorian Filly-Smith and another person wrote “DFS for MVP; who says neigh? Another poster admitted that a horse makes sense because it is already a GOAT.
Of course, the media asked the same questions many on the Reddit sub pondered, like isn’t Finney-Smith too big for this horse?
“She’s only two years old,” he laughed. “She’s just a baby. She’s still growing.
It was a long-time dream for him to buy a horse and now he is able to achieve it. Plus, Finney-Smith said, Stevie brings joy to her kids. He admits there’s still a lot to learn about this new venture, but he expects Stevie to teach the family many new life lessons.
There was no father in the house when Finney-Smith grew up, and now he’s charting a new course for his children. His daughter and two sons are at the center of his life. He teaches them that anything is possible.
And it all starts with giving back.
“I LOVE GIVING TO THE COMMUNITY”
Finney-Smith, the Mavs’ second-longest starting player, is always about the youngsters. I’ve been covering him at camp since he arrived in Dallas and nothing has changed over the years except the reaction of the kids. He’s a real star now and the silent applause turned into loud shouting and chanting the second he steps onto the pitch.
Doe could have easily skipped camp this summer after a long and grueling season. Instead, he decided to give back to the game by attending three events in North Texas today. He started at Mavs Hoop Camp in Colleyville, spoke to 150 underserved boys at Youth World in South Dallas, and ended the day at another Mavs Hoop Camp in Duncanville.
Bondage leadership is in his DNA, and that will never change.
“I love giving back to the community,” said Finney-Smith, who will enter his seventh NBA season in the fall. “I love seeing children’s faces. If I had the chance to see an NBA player (when I was his age), I would be delighted. I listened to everything he said.
It’s a great model for many reasons. For starters, he earned a degree in sociology from the University of Florida. Finney-Smith also overcame many obstacles, including losing his older brother Ra-shawn and later becoming a teenage father at 16.
Finney-Smith was an undrafted free agent in 2016 who locked down the final berth with the Mavs that year. Since then, he’s been a force to be reckoned with, evolving to become one of the best defensive players in the league as he carved out a respectable career at just 29 years old.
July 8, 2022 will mark six years since his life changed when he signed a contract to join the Mavs Summer League team. All the teams passed him in the 2016 draft, in part because at 23 he was older than the others. Additionally, people have questioned his thinness and his ability to make it to the pro level. As cliché as it sounds, they couldn’t measure his heart and courage and it has guided him ever since. When he got No. 15 on the Mavs roster that year, he called his mom and she bawled.
As they say, the rest is history.
Finney-Smith has become a central part of the Dallas Mavericks team and he is a beloved member of the community.
Dallas rewarded him with a four-year, $52 million extension before the playoffs began and proved today, once again, that money hasn’t changed Finney-Smith. He deliberately chose to attend three different camps in North Texas and fulfilled the dreams of hundreds of young people.
He even stopped at a local clinic to meet some boys from Youth World, a South Dallas Christian nonprofit that helps at-risk kids.
“Dorian talked to them and did some exercises,” said Mavs Academy’s Ronard Patton. “He gave the kids a few words of encouragement and showed off some dance moves. He commented that ‘kids looked like me when I was growing up’, so he immediately connected with them. His appearance was a low-key event, but ideal for the children who were there.
Finney-Smith will give back in the same way in late July at his fifth annual basketball camp on July 30, 2022. The event will take place in the same gymnasium where he once dazzled the crowd at Norcom High School in Portsmouth, Va. .
If you ask Dorian’s mother, Desireé, about her son, she’ll always highlight anything about him outside of court. Doe was an honor student in high school and later graduated; he is polite, compassionate and has a big heart. He is also a good father and a role model.
Now, the duo will reunite next month to teach future generations about the potential of fate and dreams.
“I have an annual BBQ for underprivileged kids,” Finney-Smith said, referring to his annual Community Love Day which includes a free basketball camp for kids ages 7 to 13 and a meal for families.
He said that this game has blessed him immensely, and now Doe wants to bless others like him.
“I come from a single parent family and have five siblings,” he said. “I also have a small community, so I try to give back in any way I can. I want to do something positive for my town and the kids. Coming from Portsmouth, Virginia, not many people make it out. It’s a community thing, and I’ve had the community behind me all along. I consider the community as a family.