Hundreds of students graced the Kohl Center floor Monday afternoon to show off their basketball abilities and raise money for cancer research in the sixth annual “Swish Upon A Cure.”
The event connects UW-Madison students with members of the men’s basketball team, and in the process supports Garding Against Cancer, an organization tasked with raising awareness and funds for cancer research and care in the state of Wisconsin.
“The motivation for Garding Against Cancer was the loss of my dad,” head coach Greg Gard said. “I was just trying to find ways my wife Michelle and I can help. How we use our position, the platform, the resources the voice that I have now, just trying to make a difference specifically in the state of Wisconsin.”
For every student that entered the Kohl Center on Monday, $1 was donated to Garding Against Cancer. For every made free throw by a student, an additional $5 was donated. And for every half-court shot, $500 was donated. In all, the event raised $20,349.
“It means a lot to me,” redshirt sophomore guard Brevin Pritzl said. “It’s always good to make a difference and impact people’s lives.”
Students attempted shots with varying degrees of success. Pritzl estimates that just 20 percent of free throws attempted were made. On the afternoon, according to UW Athletics, only 35 half-court shots were made.
“I enjoy seeing the different kind of styles of attempts at the half-court shot,” Pritzl said.
Many students elected to shoot their half-court shot underhanded. Others used a baseball-pass method. The majority of students, though, tried shooting it by getting a running start before firing a shot with two hands.
“This is a lot of fun,” first-year assistant coach Dean Oliver said. “To interact with students, watch them try to make half-court shots and free throws is a lot of fun. And it’s for a great cause too.”
The event has now raised more than $1.3 million throughout the last six years.
“I think that hopefully with the dollars raised here tonight that we can make a dent in this disease that unfortunately everybody has to deal with in some shape or form,” Gard said.