The University of Alabama-Birmingham men’s basketball team adopts Block Cancer Initiative.
Being successful on the court is as important as being successful off the court for UAB’s men’s basketball program. UAB head coach Robert Ehsan is donating $10 for each blocked shot during the entire season and his team is also contributing money based on the number of blocked shots during Conference USA play. The money will be donated to the Gene Bartow Memorial Fund for Cancer Research (legendary former coach). "I think it's great because as coaches, and a program, we want to give back to the community," said Ehsan. "Part of our mission as a program is to be able to help in ways we can and do things like this. To be able to do it with something that's helped our team be successful is unique and rare. I know the guys have all bought into this. The players are going to donate to it out of their own pocket."
In the past, the UAB team has worked in conjunction with the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama. The players wore a different color shoe on each foot to raise awareness for pediatric cancer. Now, the team is raising both awareness and funds to help make a difference in children’s lives.
According to the team website, the UAB Blazers adopted Elijah Seritt, a young cancer survivor, into the program in 2014. The fight against cancer has been extremely important for the team and Coach Ehsan has taken every opportunity to show that in different ways to his team. "It's extremely important," Ehsan said. "One of the reasons that I got into coaching was not just basketball but also to be able to impact these guys' lives. We're very blessed to play for and represent UAB. The other part is that we have a world-class cancer center right here at UAB. To be able to help an issue that hopefully will change the world one day is incredibly important to myself and our coaches."
There is no doubt that this campaign will be extremely successful. Now, the next question is, “what’s next?” The UAB Blazers might consider working with an online fundraising platform to allow fans to participate in this campaign. It would amplify the dollars and awareness raised.
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