Quinnipiac men’s basketball helps Houston relief efforts

By on September 10, 2017

In an act of giving that has become common within the sports world over the past few weeks, the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team sent a donation to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in Houston.

The team sent all sorts of Quinnipiac basketball gear, including t-shirts, shorts and shoes. Many of the players and coaches even went as far as to donate some of their personal gear to the cause as well.

Quinnipiac’s first-year head coach Baker Dunleavy noticed the efforts of Kelvin Sampson, head coach of the men’s basketball program at the University of Houston, and felt the obligation to help all the way from Hamden.

“Kelvin Sampson’s Twitter went viral,” Dunleavy said. “All they were asking for were t-shirts or shoes we had lying around. It was so reasonable, (I thought) ‘If that’s the base of what we (are asked to) do, we should be able to do even more.’”

Although, there was some controversy this week regarding the NCAA rules. The NCAA was concerned about Sampson and his staff potentially giving the donated equipment to high school recruits.

On Saturday, however, news broke that the NCAA granted the University of Houston a waiver to be able to donate the gear to Harvey victims, including high school athletes.

Back in Hamden, Dunleavy and the team went above and beyond Sampson’s request by digging into their personal items to donate.

“I left it (to the players) in terms of going above and beyond, and, gosh, I think pretty much all of our guys gave stuff from their personal shoe collection knowing that there were people out there that could use it more than them,” Dunleavy said. “All the credit goes to Coach Sampson. It was an incredible example of how social media can be awesome.”

Photo Courtesy of Quinnipiac Athletics
It was a humbling experience for the team, and truly showed everyone involved how it feels to help those in need.

“It’s a reminder of how easy it is (to give) and how often we miss the opportunities to do it,” Dunleavy said. “I think what’s lost in the tragedy is a reminder of how good we have it, and how much we can help people just by doing little things. I know it’ll leave an imprint on our program, and it’s my job to kind of remind our guys of that in different ways.”

Dunleavy, specifically, has his own ties to the Texas area. His father played for the Houston Rockets from 1978 to 1982 and the San Antonio Spurs from 1982 to 1983.

In 1982, Dunleavy was born in Fort Worth, Texas, his mother’s hometown, and his family still has ties there.

More recently, Dunleavy reached the pinnacle of his coaching career at Villanova in Houston. An assistant coach at Villanova from 2010 to 2017, Dunleavy’s team won the National Championship at Houston’s NRG Stadium in 2016.

“More than anything that moment (winning the title) was special, and my parents spent some good years there,” Dunleavy said. “It’s a city that’s been great to us, and we’re looking forward to helping where we can with the healing.”

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Associate Sports Editor