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Alum J.J. Barea and Northeastern team up to help Puerto Rico relief effort

LM Otero/Associated Press

Mavericks guard J.J. Barea said he was grateful for Northeastern’s support.

By Globe Staff 

Mavericks guard and Northeastern alumnus J.J. Barea has worked diligently to raise money for relief efforts in his native Puerto Rico since Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck there earlier this year. Northeastern coach Bill Coen noticed, and recently sent Barea a text message saying that the school wanted to help.

When the Huskies faced Bucknell on Tuesday night, Barea returned to campus to assist the school with its “Paws for Puerto Rico” fundraiser.

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“It was great,” said Barea, who was in town for the Mavericks’ game against the Celtics. “Coach Coen saw what I was doing for Puerto Rico in Dallas, and it was good timing that they had a game last night. It was his idea and we went with it.”

Northeastern T-shirts were given to anyone who donated money to the cause on Tuesday night. Barea said it was a success.

“It was good,” he said. “It’s great to be back, and seeing the school help me out and help Puerto Rico out, it’s always awesome. It’s always special. Every time I come back to Boston is special for me. I love this town. Northeastern, I went from a kid to a man.”

Barea said he was unsure how much money was raised, but that he was grateful for the support.

“Anything it was will help,” he said. “It was great for them to do that for Puerto Rico.”

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After the storms struck the island, Barea used Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s team plane to deliver supplies there. He has also raised more than $500,000 via a YouCaring page.


Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at adam.himmelsbach@globe.com
Follow him on Twitter @adamhimmelsbach.