UK responds to Kelvin Sampson’s challenge by donating UK gear


UK Athletics plans to send a clothing donation on top of the $150,000 previously raised in the Alumni Charity game. Men’s basketball is also hosting a telethon in an effort of raising more money. Photo by UK Athletics.

Chris Leach

Not long after Hurricane Harvey dropped numerous amounts of rainfall on the southeastern Texas area, University of Houston’s men’s basketball coach Kelvin Sampson asked coaches from around the country for some help. 

In a tweet that has since gone viral, Sampson challenged coaches on all levels to donate clothing to UH in an effort to help those affected by the floods.

As expected, many programs, including some NCAA division-one teams responded. UCLA, Georgetown, Miami and Maryland were some of the notable programs to send donations to Sampson. 

UK has also decided to send some of their own gear to Houston. According to UK Athletics, the men’s basketball team plans to send 40 shirts and 30 pair of shoes to Houston. All the shirts will come from men’s basketball while the shoes were collected from all departments in UK Athletics.

The clothing donation is just one of the many ways that UK Athletics is supporting Houston. John Calipari raised $150,000 from the Alumni Charity game and Calipari’s Fantasy Camp in an effort to help the recovery process in Houston. 

On top of the initial donation, men’s basketball is hosting a telethon in an effort to raise even more money for the people affected by Hurricane Harvey. 100 percent of the proceeds collected from the telethon will be donated to the American Red Cross to help assist the victims of the powerful storm. 

“The Big Blue Nation has already been terrific in helping us raise $150,000 for the victims of Hurricane Harvey by showing up to last week’s UK Alumni Charity Game and the response to the University of Houston’s call earlier this week for clothing has been terrific, but we can do even more,” Calipari said in a press release. “I hope our fans will join me, Ellen, Joe and Kelly Craft, and our team in helping raise money this weekend. No donation is too small.”

Calipari has had success raising money in telethons in the past. Calipari raised over $1 million for victims of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, and $1 million more in 2012 for the victims of Super storm Sandy.

Details of phone numbers to call and how to donate will be announced closer to the start of the telethon, which is scheduled for Sunday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. WKYT will be featuring the telethon, which is also supposed to have various special guests on the show.

The recovery process in Houston is far from over, but the donations from UK Athletics will provide the affected people with relief that will help put the damages of the storm behind them.