Even small gifts change lives

Pay It Forward

Tyus Jones and Bell Bank Team Up to Give Memorable Night to Military Family

Scott Mahal has spent most of his life serving others. As a Navy chief petty officer, he deployed with the Marine infantry and served as their medical component. When he wasn’t deployed, he worked at a Navy hospital.

Even after retiring following 24 years of active duty, Scott works in a VA hospital – still working to serve others.

“I’m really proud of him, because he’s done so much for our country,” his daughter, Darla, remarks. “He risked his life to save other people.”

To thank him for his service, Bell Bank teamed up with Tyus Jones to treat Scott and his wife, Gina, and children, Dallas and Darla, to courtside seats at an NBA game.

“A big reason why I wanted to work with Bell, and I’m thankful they’re working with me, is to help give back,” Tyus comments. “It’s very important for me to work with military families specifically because my grandfather was a part of the military.”

Tyus helped us connect with Scott through his role as the only NBA Ambassador for the United Heroes League, an organization that focuses on helping children of military families stay healthy and active through sports.

“Everyone’s very appreciative of Tyus and what he’s done and his generosity,” Scott notes. “This is absolutely fantastic. It just feels great, the appreciation.”

The experience was extra-special, because the Mahal family has cheered for Tyus for years. While stationed in Jacksonville, N.C., they became huge fans of the Duke Blue Devils men's basketball team, where Tyus played until he entered the 2015 NBA draft.

In 2015, Scott was sent to Minneapolis for his final duty station, and both of his kids attended Valley Middle School and now Apple Valley High School – the same schools as Tyus.

“We follow Tyus on Instagram, Twitter and the all sports channels,” Scott says. “He is a good young man and great role model who has shown that family sticks together, supports each other and never forgets where they came from.”

In addition to courtside seats at the game, the Mahal family also got to meet Tyus.

“I know how important it is and how meaningful it can be to families for me to give a little bit of my time,” Tyus remarks. “It’s an extremely fun event to be at, so if I’m able to make that happen for a number of different families, then I’ll do it without hesitating. I’m very thankful that Bell is working with me to help get families to the games.”

Back to Giving Stories