Tara VanDerveer pledges Ukrainian aid for every NCAA tourney 3-pointer

Kevin Light/Getty Images

Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer is pledging money toward humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, committing to giving $10 for every 3-pointer made in the NCAA Women’s tournament.

She has challenged anyone else who could give to join in.

“I want to put a challenge out to other coaches, to our fans, to everyone in here, my sister’s already accepted the challenge, I’d like to donate to the Ukraine humanitarian fund — and I’m not sure which fund it will be yet — $10 for every 3-point made in the NCAA women’s tournament,” VanDerveer said as her Cardinals prepared to begin their title defense and take on Montana State in the first round.

Georgia Tech’s Nell Fortner immediately joined the efforts. She was an assistant coach on the US team that played in Ukraine in the lead up to the 1996 Olympic games. VanDerveer was the head coach of that team.

“I would call them our cousins because we saw them in so many tournaments and played against them,” VanDerveer recalled. “So maybe I have an affinity for the country, and watching what’s happening has been really, really very hard. When our team was leaving Ukraine, women at 3:30 in the morning were begging outside of our bus. And our team emptied their suitcases, emptied their wallets, just were very generous.”

Associate director of communications Wilder Treadway has been tasked with keeping track of her total for each day.

“I hope people can make a lot of 3s and that I can be very generous,” VanDerveer said. “And I hope other people will get on board with this challenge and I’d like people to match the challenge.”