Montclair Magazine Holiday 2021 - Page 18

sports

NBA Basketball Gives Back Glen Ridge resident and coach Adam Harrington honors his sister ’ s memory WRITTEN BY GREG TARTAGLIA

Adam Harrington is devoted to family and basketball , and his two loves have often been intertwined .

At 41 , he is afather of four and resident of Glen Ridge , where herelocated in 2016 after being named assistant coach and the director of player development for the Brooklyn Nets .
But earlier inhis career , he was an NBA player . After two years in the league playing for the Dallas Mavericks , Harrington played professionally in seven other countries – with afew stops back in the NBA ’ s developmental league ( now the G-League ) – until 2010 .
That ’ s when , while living in Poland , he learned that his older sister , Jill — whom he refers to as his “ twin ” and whom he credits with helping him realize his NBA dreams — had died atage 33 of Stage 4 colon cancer that had been undiagnosed . “ And she was 8½months pregnant , too , so we lost the baby boy ,” he recalls . “ So , Itook ayear off from playing overseas … My heart had kind ofshifted , and Iwanted to be there for my family .”
In her honor , Harrington established the Jill E . Harrington Hanzalik ( JEHH ) Memorial Fund in Bernardston , Massachusetts , the town where he , Jill , and their younger brother , Kevin , grew up . The goal of the foundation is to help young people “ chase their dreams ,” as Jill did with Adam .
TEAM HARRINGTON Adam Harrington with his wife , Kearstin , sons Jayden , Jaxon and Jonah , and daughter Jill .
16 HOLIDAY 2021 MONTCLAIR MAGAZINE