By Daniel Taylor, For The Miami Student
Why do many athletes refuse to use their platform for good? Why are the stories we often hear only negative, like a domestic violence case or an alcohol-related event? That needs to stop. What the Miami University women's basketball team did is exactly what sports should be about.
The RedHawks shed the customary red and white uniforms to bring out a pink kit for the rivalry game against Ohio University Feb. 14.
The pink uniform was just a small portion of the "Think Pink" game however.
The team raised $10,000 this year, after the inaugural event raised 6,000 \It was the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication from several people. At the top of that list was women's head basketball coach Cleve Wright, senior guard Courtney Larson and Lisa Ciampa of the Luna Cares fund.
The event was three-fold according to Wright. The team wanted to raise funds for Luna Cares, ensuring all the money would stay in the Oxford area. They also wanted to honor survivors and educate people about breast cancer.
It was a total community event from business sponsors, local hospital McCullough-Hyde, the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and various sports teams including football, volleyball and, of course, women's basketball.
Nearly 60 survivors and their caretakers were on hand for the game, another reason this should become commonplace.
There were shirt sales all over Oxford, a silent auction at the event and a reception after the game for the survivors.
It was also a special game for Larson, who has been through the breast cancer fight with her mother.
"It's impacting this community," Larson said. "It's awesome."
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The team is still helping raise money by continuing t-shirt sales.
That is what college athletics should be about, making athletes and communities better.
And the best part about the local team - they want to continue the event and expand it.
"We always want to expand it and make it bigger," Wright said. "I want it to be a Miami University event."
Miami should expand upon the "Think Pink" game and make it a university event.
Do it up in the way that only Miami can.
Bring the community together with the university and raise money for a worthy cause.
And why stop there?
Miami fosters a multitude of ways to help people from Oxford and across the world.
This is just another opportunity to do so.
Wright wants to expand the ideas behind the "Think Pink" game and it appears that may be the case.
The volleyball and football teams both played huge parts in this year's game.
So the willingness to do good things is there.
And in a time that athletes are looked down upon by too many, wrongly I might add, this shines a bright light on all involved.
Ultimately most of the people I have met in Oxford are good people, they want to do great things.
Another key to the small town university is just that, it is a small town university.
We are tied in closely with the community around us and college students represent the biggest population in the city.
Luna Cares keeps all of the money in this region. So the immediate impact is huge. Breast cancer is a terrible disease and destroys lives and families.
The littlest of donations in a close-knit community like this can lead to huge donations like the one the women's basketball team was able to make.
Athletes should not be looked down on, especially in Oxford.
The ability to do amazing things sits right in front of all the collegiate athletic programs in the country; it's time to start seizing the opportunity and making great things happen.