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ODU Sport Management Students Sell a Record 602 Tickets to ‘Hoops for the Cure’ Game

lridinge-lynn-ridingerLynn Ridinger

Every year, the ODU Lady Monarchs basketball team hosts the "Hoops for the Cure" game, a fundraiser that celebrates breast cancer survivors and their families and supports the fight to find a cure for breast cancer.

A crowd of 3,972 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center saw the ODU women fall 65-55 to the University of Texas-El Paso Miners in the 12th annual event on Feb. 15. ODU sport management students also got into the Hoops for the Cure spirit, raising more than $3,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation through a record number of ticket sales.

The 52 students in the undergraduate Sport Marketing course, taught by Lamar Reams, assistant professor of sport management, and the graduate Sponsorship and Event Planning course, taught by Lynn Ridinger, associate professor of sport management, sold a total of 602 tickets. One student, undergraduate Matthew Gibb, sold 100 tickets.

This year's sales set a per-student record for the sport management classes' involvement in Hoops for the Cure, a cause that has raised more than $30,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation over the past 10 years.

"We've been doing this since 2005, and it's great to be involved. It gives the students some hands-on experience with sales, something many of them are going to use in sport management careers," said Ridinger.

"Although the students were selling tickets for a grade, I think they also really grasped the importance of an event such as this, and how much it contributes to a worthy cause like breast cancer research."

Senior Associate Athletic Director Debbie White, herself a cancer survivor, spoke to the sport management classes in the weeks before the Hoops for the Cure game, sharing information with students about the cause it supports.

"The sports management classes have partnered with athletics and Susan G. Komen for the Cure on the Hoops for the Cure game since 2005, and have been the largest ticket sellers for the game. They continue to break their own sales record and this year set the bar very high for future students. We are most appreciative to Dr. Lynn Ridinger and Dr. Lamar Reams for incorporating this game into their course curriculum, but more importantly for supporting the Lady Monarchs in finding a cure for breast cancer," White said.

The Hoops for the Cure game typically attracts one of the largest crowds of the year for ODU Lady Monarch basketball. "This was such a great atmosphere, the Ted was electric tonight. Our team fought really hard and showed growth throughout the game," ODU head coach Karen Barefoot said after the game.

Saturday's game also marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Sara Jones, who was a volunteer assistant to Barefoot. Jones battled the disease for more than 10 years before passing away at age 40.

More than 200 cancer survivors walked around the court just prior to the game as part of the traditional Survivor Walk. Landon Mortell, Jones' niece, flew in from Denver with her parents for the game. Lady Monarch senior Rebecca Allison carried Landon in her arms during the pregame walk, as the crowd, most adorned in pink, gave a standing ovation.

The Miners sat on the bench during the survivor walk "out of respect," said UTEP coach Keitha Adams, who lost her father to cancer last summer.