By Mary Kate Sheppard, Staff Writer–
Cancer didn’t stand a chance as it faced off against Coach Lamont Paris, the Chattanooga men’s basketball team, and the entire UTC community on Wednesday, Nov. 6th at The McKenzie Arena.
Students and staff showed up to participate in the “Shooting Down Cancer” event, put on to raise money for the American Cancer Society–directly out of Coach Paris’s pocket. Students who checked into McKenzie Arena ensured a $1 donation from Coach Paris in their name to the cancer fund. After that, any student who made a freethrow contributed $5 of Coach Paris’s money to the cause. Coach Paris guaranteed that for every half court shot made, he would additionally donate $50 to the fund.
The event took place from 2-6pm and dozens of students gathered on the gym floor to help raise awareness and funds for a common cause.
“Not all students can relate to basketball, or sports in general. There are those who show up to games and have pride in this team, but everyone has been impacted by cancer in some way or another,” said assistant men’s coach, Tanner Bronson. “Whether we know someone personally or not, cancer has taken a lot from a lot of people. It’s something we can come together over.”
A wide variety of students came out and supported the cause by joining in the fun. Just signing up, grabbing some free pizza, and chatting with the players was all it took to make a contribution.
“When students leave here,” Coach Paris said, “I want them to leave with a smile. I want them to have fun and feel good about making a contribution. It’s good to take a break from everyday student life, come out and shoot some hoops, help a cause. I also want them to meet new people. Maybe come to some games together. Stay connected.”
While Coach’s only numerical goal was “as much as possible,” the total earnings totaled to over $4,000.
“Our goal in this event was…to raise money for research and treatment. A lot of people need treatment to fight this terrible disease and don’t have the money to do it. It takes a toll on them physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially,” Coach Paris described.
“[Further], it’s not just about basketball. I really wanted to get the Chattanooga community to rally around a common goal.”