Andy Katz at ESPN writes about IUPUI coach Ron Hunter and his efforts with the Samaritan’s Feet Program. (www.samaritansfeet.org). The full article can be found at http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=4374223&name=katz_andy, with the AP article at http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=4392312. (An excerpt provided below).
Coach Hunter’s effort could be possibly be one to replicate, in that it is attaching a socially conscious element to an already existing part of college hoops, i.e. the foreign tour.
August 11, 2009
INDIANAPOLIS — The man who made it chic to stomp his feet during games, coach barefoot for charity and turn his shoe drive into a global cause wants to expand his mission.
IUPUI Jaguars basketball coach Ron Hunter said he has a new partner to help collect shoes in Colorado-based Crocs Inc. and a new proposal to get college and prep coaches more involved in the cause.
“The Pac-10 has a proposal out to eliminate foreign tours and coaches are trying to make sure it doesn’t pass,” Hunter said. “So I’m saying instead of stopping the foreign tours, let’s make it educational and say that if you go on a foreign tour, you have to do something to give back to the children in those countries.”
Hunter gained national attention last season when more than 300 youth, prep and college coaches joined Hunter in going barefoot to help benefit the Samaritan’s Feet program.
The new idea would require basketball teams that travel abroad to play to do something for the needy children in those countries. Hunter believes the trips can be a life-changing event, as it was for him.
The proposal has not been formally sent to the NCAA, and Hunter is not suggesting that this should only involve his pet project, shoe distribution. It is expected to be discussed at the next National Association of Basketball Coaches board meeting. (The full article continues at http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=4392312)