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Legends and Legacy Community Award

WFF Legacy Honorees 2023
The NCAA Legends and Legacy Community Award honors living legends who have committed their time, resources, and influence to improve and invest in their local communities. Acknowledging and celebrating their determination to make a difference. This award is bestowed on individuals who exemplify selflessness and strives for excellence. Concerned citizens who render extraordinary and valuable service within the local community of the Final Four host cities for Men and Women's Basketball.
2023 Dallas Honorees
Opal Lee
Retired Activist and Counselor, Grandmother of Juneteenth
Known as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth,” Ms. Opal Lee was present when President Joe Biden signed the bill that established “Juneteenth” as a federal holiday after her successful walking campaign and online petition that garnered over 1.5 million signatures for Juneteenth holiday awareness. She has received three honorary doctorates, has been named 2021 Texan of the Year by the Dallas Morning News editorial board, the 2021 Unsung Hero of the Pandemic, Fort Worth Inc.’s 2022 Person of the Year and most recently was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Nancy Lieberman
President/CEO, Nancy Lieberman Charities
Her on-court accomplishments have allowed her to make an impact in the community with Nancy Lieberman Charities. Her Charity has allowed her to change the lives of children in urban neighborhoods through Educational College Scholarships, Mentorship, Basketball Camps and Clinics, and Racial and Social Justice Lecture programs. Those programs include building 117 "Dream Courts" which we call pop-up classrooms that have provided over five million children in communities the opportunity to have a safe place to enjoy healthy activities, build relationships with local law enforcement and take part in community engagement.
Nick Marino Jr.
Chief Hunger Officer, Tango Charities
Nick Marino Jr. focuses on making an everlasting impact in his city and communities around the country. For the past decade, Nick has led efforts to bring thousands of people together to create a local impact. Nick founded the organization Tango Charities, which produces the event Feed The City, which has become one of the most inclusive and diverse volunteering opportunities ever seen. In 2020, Nick started, That’s Just good, a program that works with businesses all around to create cause-driven team-building events. Nick’s efforts have resulted in over 1,200 events hosted in 5 countries, 11 states, and 57 cities, bringing together over 90,000 volunteers and providing over 6 million meals to people in need.
Byron Sanders
CEO, Big Thought
Byron Sanders is President and CEO of Big Thought, an impact, youth-aligned organization closing the opportunity gap by equipping youth with skills to create. His work across many sectors have all centered on the belief that people are born great – our responsibility is to create systems of opportunity for their greatness to shine. Byron and his team’s work builds programs and learning systems empowering youth with the skills to thrive in their authentic voice and recognize their own power. By building 21st century skills, a youth becomes a creator and can forge their path ahead. He’s recognized as 2022 Dallas Business Journal’s Most Admired CEO, the CASEL O’Brien Award for Excellence in Expanding the Evidence-Based Practice of Social and Emotional Learning and to be named a 2017 Presidential Leadership Scholar. Byron believes with youth as co-designers of the world around us, we become the best version of us all.
Acheil Tac
Founder, Athlete's Advocate
Acheil Tac is a professional basketball player and founder of Athlete's Advocate, a multi-media platform which aims to educate and advocate for athletes raising awareness and elevating athletes’ voices to address an imbalance system. Acheil mentors and advises athletes in their recruitment, college experience, and post-playing career, life options. Acheil is arguably one of the most influential women in the South Sudanese community working with young women from young age levels into adulthood. Acheil has partnered with organizations such as ROSS Leaders and SoElite to address and offer opportunities and address the crisis of lack of attention, opportunities, and participation in athletics for girls and young women in her community.
NCAA Legends and Legacy Community Award honorees will be acknowledged during an in-game recognition on Friday, March 31, during one of the National Semifinal games.
To view the 2023 honorees celebrated at the Men’s Final Four, click HERE.

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