The Texas women’s basketball team will host a charity exhibition game Sunday against DePaul, with all proceeds going to help the city of Uvalde, Texas, build a new elementary school.
A shooting at Robb Elementary School in May left 19 students and two teachers dead. The school has been closed permanently and is slated to be demolished and replaced by a memorial.
In its place, the Uvalde CISD Moving Forward Foundation is collecting funds to support the construction of a new elementary school.
“Sometimes you feel helpless wanting to help somebody,” Texas coach Vic Schaefer said. “I felt like this might be an opportunity for us as a university, as an athletic department and my program, to really reach out.”
For every 1,000 fans that attend, Schaefer has pledged to donate $1,000. As of Wednesday, there were 3,000 tickets sold.
Per NCAA rules, public exhibition games can be scheduled if they are used to support a charity.
“Texans across the state and the Austin community will have a chance to help support our fellow Texans from Uvalde who have been devastated by the tragic events at Robb Elementary back on May 24,” Schaefer said. “As Texans, we have a chance, and in my mind an obligation to help our community, our family.
“My wish is that we will all come together on Sunday, Oct. 30, to remember those young children and teachers who lost their lives and those who didn’t but who are so adversely affected from the events at Robb Elementary. I can assure you DePaul University and The University of Texas women’s basketball programs will play their hearts out for those young children and their families.”
The players are on board, said Texas guard Sonya Morris, who transferred from DePaul after last season.
“It is for a good cause and it’s always special to be able to help out like this, especially with the tragic event that happened,” Morris said. “We want to have a lot of fans come out and help us make an impact and spread awareness.”
DePaul head coach Doug Bruno was quick to accept the invite to play in the exhibition, saying he felt honored that his team was invited.
“Unfortunately, the Uvalde tragedy could have happened anywhere,” Bruno said. “As citizens of the greatest country in the world, we have an obligation to work to end all violence, including gun violence.”