Samford University’s basketball teams have raised more than $4,000 through Feb. 14 for two prominent charities.
The women’s team raised about $2,000 for breast cancer research during their Feb. 13 game against College of Charleston. The game was part of the annual “Play4Kay” national promotion to raise funds for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Yow, the former head coach at North Carolina State University, died in January 2009 after a 20 year battle with breast cancer.
The team wore pink uniforms, and a jersey auction after the game had raised about $600 as of Feb. 14. The team also raised more than $1,000 through the sale of special promotional T-shirts. Samford’s cheerleaders also raised $380 through their Backflips for Breast Cancer promotion. The team completed 636 back flips during the game.
The men’s basketball team raised more than $2,200 for the American Heart Association with their “go red” promotion at the Feb. 11 game against Elon University. The team wore red uniforms for the game and auctioned the jerseys, raising more than $1,200 as of Feb. 14.
In addition to the jerseys, the effort included a $1,000 contribution from the family of former Samford basketball player Jim Griffin. Griffin, a senior player at the time, died unexpectedly in September 2010 of an undetected heart ailment. Griffin’s parents attended the game and make the presentation to local AHA representatives.
Senior player Jeffrey Merritt wore a special number 3 jersey for the game. The university had retired Griffin’s number 3 at during the 2010-11 season.
Samford athletics director of marketing and licensing Don Scott noted that both jersey auctions were continuing for several more days and could result in additional contributions.
“Both of these causes are important to Samford athletics because we have coaches, players and staff that have been personally affected by them,” Scott said. “One of our core principles in the athletics department is giving back to the community, and this is a great way for us to raise awareness and money to fight heart disease and breast cancer.”
Scott particularly noted the involvement from Samford’s Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing for the Saturday game. Faculty and students provided blood pressure checks and other health
“We had tremendous support from the nursing school and Dean Nena Sanders for the ‘red out’,” Scott said. “It truly was a university-wide event.”
The “red out” promotion drew the second largest basketball crowd in the five-year history of the Pete Hanna Center, with more than 2,500 red-clad fans in attendance.
In addition to the Heart Association gift, Griffin’s parents presented a check for $10,000 to help endow the Jim Griffin Memorial Scholarship at Samford. The family previously donated $15,000 to the fund.