DALLAS (KTVU, AP) - Former Warrior and current Dallas Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes treated 150 kids to a special screening of the Hollywood blockbuster, "Black Panther."
The Monday night screening was held at a theater in Dallas for underserved kids in organizations including the Boys and Girls Club and the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy.
The Mavericks say that Barnes treated the kids to dinner and a movie and surprised the children who didn't know the NBA star was taking them.
Team owner Mark Cuban also showed up for the screening.
"I was excited to see the movie myself," Barnes was quoted in a statement released by the Mavericks.
"But I think the opportunity to have these kids see a movie like this - a movie about a super hero from Africa - to just celebrate all different levels of blackness I think is really unique," he said.
Barnes showed up to the movie wearing an African shirt which he said he received from a friend from Ghana.
He noted what a powerful and critical film the "Black Panther" is.
"I think it's become more than just a movie. It's more of a movement. Celebrate diversity, and hopefully if this does well, then you'll see more movies like this," Barnes said.
The young movie-goers reacted to Barnes's generosity with appreciation.
"I was very grateful when I found out he did it," 12-year-old Rachel Ellis said. "It showed a great sense of community," she added.
"I thought it was nice of Mr. Barnes to do that so we could watch the movie," said 10-year-old Malik Hickman. "Some kids probably couldn't afford it, so I thank him. He's really cool."
Directed by Oakland native, Ryan Coogler, the Marvel Comics box office hit is being described as a groundbreaking super-hero film and cultural phenomenon.
"Black Panther" is about the mythical and highly advanced African nation of Wakanda, where T'Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman, inherits the throne but is challenged by a Wakandan exile named Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan.
It is the first big-budget tent pole release featuring a nearly all-black cast.
The film has prompted other celebrities as well as educators, philanthropists, and business owners to pull together their resources to bring children of color to see it.
The movie set a record with its $235 million debut at the top of the U.S. box office over the holiday weekend.
"Just to be able to showcase strong black characters - and talking about Africa - and strong black men and women, I think that's unique," Barnes said. "It was a great film, I thought the kids loved I, and I loved it."