Coach Grant takes part in charity voting tournament

Coach Grant takes part in charity voting tournament

Mark Hammontree

Anthony Grant, The University of Alabama men’s basketball coach, is competing with college basketball coaches across the country to win $100,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Alabama in the Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge.

For its third year, Infiniti has teamed up with ESPN, the NCAA and the National Association of Basketball Coaches to present the Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge, a Final Four style tournament including 48 men’s college basketball coaches and their chosen charities from across the country.

The tournament will last eight weeks, with the first half of online voting producing a single winner from four regions from whom the overall winner will be decided. The coach and charity that receive the most votes will receive one-hundred thousand dollars for the chosen charity. Grant is listed in the South Region.

“College basketball coaches across America contribute in so many ways throughout the year for numerous national and local charitable organizations as well as community projects and initiatives,” Jim Haney, executive director of the NABC, said. “The Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge enables college basketball fans to team with these outstanding coaches in providing significant financial support and awareness for so many worthy programs.”

Coach Grant has chosen as his charity the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Alabama, an organization he has been affiliated with for a long time.

“It is a privilege to be a part of the 2013 Infiniti Coaches Challenge,” Grant said in a news release.“This is for a great cause and it is something that has special meaning for me. Both my wife and I have worked closely with the Boys & Girls Club of West Alabama, and we are happy to provide support and assistance to our community and this particular organization.”

Chris Stewart, director of development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Alabama and the host of Coach Grant’s television show, said the coach and his wife have been strong supporters of the organization long before they learned about this competition.

“Coach Grant grew up participating in the Boys & Girls Clubs in Miami, and in college he worked as a counselor,” Stewart said. “It’s had a big impact on his life. He and his wife Chris, who is on the Board of Directors for Boys & Girls Clubs of West Alabama, have been great to give so much support.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs seek to provide a safe place for children and teens to have fun and to learn in the protection and mentorship of passionate and caring adults and young adult counselors and volunteers. The Clubs of West Alabama have three locations, the primary club in Tuscaloosa and two outreach clubs in Greensboro, Ala., and Akron, Ala.

(See also “Boys and Girls Club rebuilt and running”)

The organization is currently trying to expand in order to help more children, Stewart said, and money received from this contest could help accomplish a great deal.

“We’re trying to grow, and we have plans to expand and put a club in Northport, but to do that we need more funding,” Stewart said. “$100,000 will give us an opportunity to really do something great.”

Stewart said he hopes Alabama fans, students and alumni will take this opportunity to show their support for a meaningful group. Bama fans are notorious for their unrelenting voting when it comes to online sports-related polling, especially during football season. Stewart said he would like to see this passion reveal itself in the Coaches’ Charity Challenge.

“This contest is about a way of supporting your coach who himself is supporting an important cause,” he said. “Coach Grant is not at all in this for himself. It’s not about making him feel good; he’s doing this to try to help our club and get everyone to help as well.”

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