Dajuan Eubanks has been involved with the Maine Red Claws since their inception in 2009, serving as president of the NBA G League team since 2014. Brian Babineau photo/Courtesy of Maine Red Claws

Maine Red Claws President Dajuan Eubanks was honored Tuesday as the NBA G League Team Executive of the Year for the 2019-20 season.

Eubanks, 49, has been part of the Red Claws’ franchise since its inception in 2009 and was appointed team president in 2014. The Red Claws are the G League affiliate of the NBA’s Boston Celtics, who have owned the team since 2019.

“I am grateful for receiving the award and honored to be chosen by my peers,” said Eubanks. “I’m looking forward to continuing the work as part of the Celtics’ organization. It was unexpected … I’m excited for our team, our community and our organization for receiving this award.”

Eubanks believes that the team’s success on the court – the Red Claws were 28-14 and in first place in the Atlantic Division when the G League suspended its season last March 12 – combined with its community involvement may have swayed the award in his favor.

“Being able to see us having success on and off the court, better than we’ve ever had before and trending to one of our best years yet, was gratifying overall,” said Eubanks. “And so I would say those would be the two that stood out to me for the 2019-20 season.”

In a press release announcing league honors, the G League emphasized the Red Claws’ success on the court and off.

The Red Claws saw a 30-percent increase in attendance in the 2019-20 season, partly fueled by the popularity of 7-foot-5 center Tacko Fall. They sold out 16 of 19 home games before the season was canceled. In addition, the team’s website saw a 50-percent increase in page views.

Beyond that, the Red Claws joined Ecomaine in a recycling program that impacted over 100,000 residents in southern Maine. And when the pandemic hit, the Red Claws, on behalf of the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, partnered with TD Bank to launch “Fueling the Frontline,” an initiative that supported local restaurants that provided meals to front-line workers throughout the state.

“From Day One we’ve always been a community-oriented organization, so we’ve always wanted to make a difference,” said Eubanks. “And that continues to be the case for us off the court.”

Jeff Twiss, the vice president of media services for the Celtics, applauded Eubanks for the honor.

“Dajaun is well deserving of it, long overdue,” said Twiss.

Eubanks, who played at Rice University and for the Harlem Globetrotters, moved to Maine with his family in 2005 and joined the Red Claws as vice president of corporate sponsorships. After three seasons, he was promoted to executive vice president in 2012, when he began to handle the day-to-day operations of the team.

When Eubanks stopped playing for the Globetrotters, and entered his professional career in marketing, he tried to downplay his basketball background. It wasn’t easy. “I’m a 6-9 African American,” he said. “When I met someone, the first question was, ‘Do you play basketball?’

“I may have played at Rice and for the Globetrotters. But I also graduated from Rice. So I tried to keep sports at arms length. … But once I embraced what God had given me, here’s where I’m at.”

It’s nice, he said, to be recognized by his peers in the NBA G League.

“It’s extremely gratifying for me,” said Eubanks. “It’s exciting and fulfilling. But more important, it brings attention not just to me but our organization, our community and the people who support me and surround me every day doing what we do.”

The G League will begin its 2021 season on Wednesday in Orlando, Florida, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World. The Red Claws will not participate in the season as 17 G League teams plus the NBA G League Ignite will play 15 games until March 6. The top eight teams will advance to a single-elimination playoff with the championship on March 11.

And while the Red Claws aren’t playing, Eubanks said they are already preparing for the 2021-22 season.

“We haven’t just been sitting idle,” he said. “We’ve been planning for things.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: