Among the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients is David Backes, Maverick hockey standout, who played 15 years in the NFL. He also represented the U.S. in two Olympic games and three world championships. Playing for the Mavericks from 2003-2006, Backes returned to finish his degree from Minnesota State Mankato in 2014 (fulfilling a promise to his mom). A year earlier in 2013, he and his wife, Kelly, founded Athletes for Animals, a non-profit animal welfare organization that leverages professional athletes’ platforms to benefit the lives of animals in need. Learn more about his Maverick Pride, charity work and post-hockey business pursuits in this video in recognition of his 2023 award.