UTM basketball team asks community for donations to help flood victims

MARTIN, Tenn. — As the ball dribbles up and down the court, a coach is not only encouraging his players to work harder but to give back.

“It could have easily been us,” Associate Basketball Coach Jermaine Johnson said. “We sent out a clarion call to all West Tennessee schools, athlete departments and our players to assist in the Hurricane Harvey efforts.”

The team is urging the community to rise up and give back to those who need it most.

“T-shirts, tennis shoes, toothpaste — whatever you can give, we are sending it off on our dime,” Johnson said.

The Union City High School basketball team has already taken their shot.

“He brought over $3,000 worth of Union City products such as shoes, sweaters to boxes of t-shirts. It was unbelievable,” Johnson said.

It’s a challenge hitting close to the net.

“One of my dearest friends works at Texas Southern University, and we have been talking every night,” Johnson said. “He has water filled up to his SUV truck, and it’s filled up to the doors.”

It’s also a challenge for the players.

“Some of their friends are affected by it that play at those schools in Houston, so they are going to give back and are ecstatic to give back because they know it could have easily been them,” Johnson said.

The school has already shipped out one load of donations Monday. They will send the second load Friday.

Coach Johnson says the Houston basketball team will divide and distribute the items to victims.

“Unselfishness, and I think this is an unselfish act from the whole West Tennessee and schools in general,” Johnson said.

You can send your donations to the Basketball Office at 15 Mt. Pelia Road, 1022 Elam Center, Martin, TN 38238.