The University of Detroit Mercy Athletic Department is proud to have made a $5,000 donation to the V Foundation for Cancer Research, in conjunction with the Dick Vitale Court dedication. Recently, game-worn jerseys from the Dec. 5, 2011 game vs. St. John’s were auctioned off with a portion of the proceeds going to this worthy cause.
“We’re honored to support the V Foundation,” UDM Associate Vice President and Athletic Director Keri Gaither said. “That night was such a success and we’re delighted to be able to contribute to something for which Dick and our coaches have so much passion to support.”
A portion of the ticket revenue from that game, along with funds from the throwback jersey auction, funded the university’s donation. The team was outfitted in jerseys courtesy of Moneyball Sportswear, a Michigan-based company headed by former Titan Desmond Ferguson, who is the company’s president and CEO. The design was akin to the jersey style that the Titans wore back in the late 1970s.
Formed in 1993 in honor of Vitale’s long-time friend and colleague, Jim Valvano, the V Foundation has awarded more than $90 million to more than 100 facilities nationwide including a few facilities in Southeast Michigan. The V foundation proudly awards 100% of direct donations and net event proceeds to cancer research.
“Our guys had quite an experience that night,” head coach Ray McCallum said. “To be able to play a BIG EAST team on our home floor in front of an energized crowd in a nationally-televised game and to have it finish with us taking the win was the perfect ending. I know the guys enjoyed being able to play in those throwbacks and being part of something so special to bring Dick back to Detroit and reunite the Titan family.”
Vitale was on hand at Calihan Hall to have the court dedicated in his honor for his success at the University of Detroit and his contributions as an ambassador to college basketball. He welcomed back many of his former players—Terry Tyler, Wilbert McCormick, John Long, among others—as well as his former assistant coach Smokey Gaines for a night that Motown won’t soon forget.