My Black History: Deonna McGary

My Black History: Deonna McGary, DHS 2006 Alumnae
Posted on 02/28/2023
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Invest in yourself.


That is the message Deonna McGary has for DeSoto Independent School District students.


A Class of 2006 graduate of DeSoto High School, the former Eagle cheerleader has turned herself into a successful business owner and marketer through hard work, dedication and with the help of the DeSoto, Texas, community.


How did she do it?


She received her undergraduate degree from Prairie View A&M University, majoring in marketing and business management.


After that, she made her way to the West Coast and joined the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Los Angeles Clippers organization. Working with the squad’s marketing team, primarily focusing on group events, McGary got a first-hand look at how NBA teams celebrated different cultures.


She also noticed a lot teams and even organizations outside of the NBA were only celebrating Black success during the month of February.


With that in mind, McGary wanted to create a platform within the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to celebrate Blackness presently and what is in store for the future.


Thankfully, after a successful pitch to the Dallas Mavericks in 2018, Black Excellence Night (BEN) was signed, sealed and ready to roll.


Not only that, newly-hired Mavericks Chief Executive Officer, Cynt Marshall, was really onboard with this idea because of the focus of diversity and inclusion in the workplace at every level.


What started out as an idea, has now turned into an empowerment conference focused on celebrating Black excellence and empowering Black leaders, businesses, entrepreneurs and people, with the goal of creating opportunities for advancement, fundraising and networking for other Black-owned businesses.


BEN has been so successful to the point where now, other NBA teams such as the San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns are set to serve as host in their respected cities.

All in all, this success would not be possible without the knowledge and experiences she gained while being an Eagle.


“The moment you invest yourself, not only will doors open, but you’ll create more doors than you thought was possible,” said McGary. “DeSoto gave me that foundation to surround myself who look just like and support those who look just like me.”