If you’re just watching UAB for the first time all season in the NCAA Tournament then you’re probably wondering why they’re wearing mismatched shoes.
Unless you’re a UAB fan or live in the area, the only thing you know about UAB athletics as a casual sports fan is that the football program was unceremoniously dropped last winter.
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While that story is incredibly sad and angered UAB fans, students and alumni in addition to sports fans across the country. The UAB men’s basketball team has managed to have a successful March and upset No. 3 Iowa State in the second round of the tournament and are playing UCLA today for a berth in the Sweet 16.
If this is the first time you’ve watched the Blazers this year, you’re probably asking yourself what’s up with their footwear.
They wear one green shoe and one white shoe to raise awareness for pediatric cancer through the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama. Their No. 1 fan is a young boy named Elijah Seritt who is a young cancer survivor who has had 17 surgeries and raised nearly $33,000.
UAB head coach Jerrod Hease spoke about the bond with Elijah in November, via AL.com:
“Henry Ford talked about, ‘A business that only makes money is a poor business’ if that’s it’s sole purpose,” [UAB coach Jerod] Haase said. “And I think if you’re a basketball program and your sole purpose is just to win games, you’re running a poor program. I think our guys are really bought in.”
Haase continued “They want to reach out to the community and this is something that does touch their heart with our relationship with Elijah. Obviously with the Children’s Hospital we feel like it’s a win-win situation.”
What a wonderful cause and UAB hopes to have at least one more game where they can make their fashion statement and raise awareness for pediatric cancer and raise even more money.
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