After soundly defeating such big time basketball names as Bob Huggins of West Virginia, Jim Boeheim of Syracuse, Mike Krzyzewski of Duke and the coaches of conference rivals Temple, Xavier and St. Joseph’s – VCU Head Basketball Coach Shaka Smart has reached the finals of the 3rd Annual ESPN/Infiniti Coaches Charity Challenge. The remaining “final four” coaches include Frank Haith of Missouri, Johnny Dawkins of Stanford and last-year’s winner Thad Matta of Ohio State. The coach that receives the most votes in the two-week final round of the competition will receive $100,000 for his selected charity.
Coach Smart has selected FRIENDS Association for Children, a local non-profit agency,
which has been serving children and families in the Richmond community for over 140 years.
FRIENDS Executive Director, J. David Young commented that “Coach Smart and his wife, Maya, wanted to align their support with a local organization with deep roots in the Richmond community. We are honored that they chose FRIENDS. A win for Coach Smart in this competition is not only a win for FRIENDS and for VCU, it is also a win for the entire Richmond and Central Virginia area. We certainly appreciate the support we’ve seen so far and encourage everyone to continue to show their RVA pride and VOTE SMART!…every day.”
FRIENDS has two Richmond locations – the John C. Purnell, Jr. Child Development Center in Jackson Ward and the Robert L. Taylor Childcare Center in Church Hill. FRIENDS serves approximately 1,000 children annually, from low-to-moderate income working families; and offers a broad array of services to help them gain critical literacy and developmental skills needed to succeed in school and in life. These services also help children achieve a greater understanding and appreciation of their community and the world around them.
To cast a vote for Coach Smart and FRIENDS, visit espn.com/Infiniti, select the
East Region and Shaka Smart. Votes can be made daily through March 11 at noon EST.