Dirk Nowitzki was born in Würzburg, Germany on June 19, 1978. He began his professional career with Würzburg DJK in the Bundesliga and then impressed NBA coaches and scouts with 33 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 steals at the 1998 Nike Hoop Summit. Consequently, Dirk became the ninth pick in the NBA draft, with an arranged trade that sent him from Milwaukee to Dallas.
His career includes countless European and American recognition awards, and shows no sign of slowing down. In 1998 Dirk Nowitzki began his NBA career with the Dallas Mavericks and he has remained a loyal Mavs player ever since. During his time in Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki has led the Mavericks to 11 consecutive NBA Playoffs, including the NBA finals in 2006 and the franchise’s first championship in 2011.
Dirk Nowitzki is a 14-time All-Star, 12-time member of the All-NBA teams, and the first European-born player in the NBA to win the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 2007. At the 2002 FIBA World Championships, Nowitzki led the German National Basketball Team to a bronze medal, and a silver medal in the 2005 EuroBasket, which earned him FIBA Europe Basketball Player of the Year.
In the 2007 FIBA European Championships, Germany fell short to automatically qualify for the Olympics so they entered the qualifying tournament and won a spot to in which the were accepted to the 2008 Olympics. Dirk lead the German basketball team to their first Olympics since 1992 Summer Olympics. Dirk was chosen to be the flag bearer for the German Olympic Team at Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Olympics. Dirk led the German team to a tenth-place finish, and averaged 17.0 points, and 7.6 rebounds for the tournament.
On December 18, 2011, Nowitzki was named the 2011 German Sports Personality of the Year, the first basketball player to receive the award. On December 10, 2012, he became the first non-American player to receive the Naismith Legacy Award.
Dirk takes his work seriously on the court, but he is also serious about making a difference off the court. Each year he makes hundreds of appearances and signs thousands of autographs in his desire to help children in our communities. In 2013, Dirk was named German ambassador for UNICEF with a focus to fight malnutrition in the world and promote a healthy lifestyle. “UNICEF helps us realize to what extent children need our support. However, UNICEF stands for solutions,” Dirk said after being appointed their new ambassador in Germany.
In December 2007, the NBA honored him with the NBA Community Assist Award in recognition of his outstanding efforts in the community and for his ongoing philanthropic work. Whether it is meeting children throughout the season for the Make-A-Wish Foundation or purchasing and delivering thousands of dollars worth of Christmas toys for children in a local hospital, Dirk loves to give back to children. He says, “Helping kids is one of the best things I get to do as a professional athlete, and it is a privilege to be a part of those events.”
Dirk Nowitzki established two Foundations. One based in Dallas focused on Children´s wellbeing in his Dallas community as well as in Afirca. The other one in his hometown in Würzburg, Germany, focused on the empowerment of children through sports.