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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Brother’s legacy sparks WillPower

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Keith Hickman-Perfetti
at the Willpower clothing line release at the University of Arizona Bookstore on 20 Oct. 2011. Keith Hickman-Perfetti/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

A new UA club launched a clothing line at the UofA Bookstore with the help of former UA athletes last week.

The club, WillPower, is a movement developed by civil engineering senior Sami Zarifi, who wants to use clothing line as a way to spread the message of pushing yourself to the limit both physically and mentally.

“Our kind of motto that we are going with at the UA is ‘not what you can do but what you will do,’” Zarifi said. “Basically what we want to iterate about WillPower is that it’s something that defines you, it’s your essence, and people sometimes disregard it because it is the one force that can push you past your natural limit.”

Zarifi created the club as way to show his support for cancer research after his brother, Will Zarifi, died of brain cancer in 2008.

“He never was upset or complained or anything when he was sick,” Zarifi said. “It was all about staying positive and that inspired me.”

The clothing line includes items such as, shirts, tank tops and wristbands featuring both UA and WillPower logos. Proceeds will go to the UA Steele Children’s Research Center, part of the Diamond Children’s Medical Center at the University of Arizona Medical Center-University Campus. All of the clothing is sold exclusively at the bookstore.

The store sold out on its first clothing shipment during the launch on Thursday. Former UA basketball player Derrick Williams was also at the event helping to promote the clothing line.

“I think it went really well, people came up and we were able to tell them the inspiration behind the shirts and generate a lot of popularity from that,” said David Seroy, management information systems senior and member of WillPower. “Derrick Williams stopping by also helped bring a crowd of people.”

At the event, Williams signed shirts and took photos with people inside the store. He also posted information about the clothing premiere on his Twitter account, getting athletes like Taj Gibson, a basketball player for the Chicago Bulls and former UA swimmer and Olympic medalist Amanda Beard to follow and do the same on their Twitter accounts.

“When Derrick came the hype really got going and people started seeing the clothing on campus,” Zarifi said. “Once people realize what WillPower is and the connection it has to inspire yourself, it going to get really popular and I think the next batch (of clothing) is going to be a big hit.”

For the beginning phases of the clothing line, the club wants to focus its brand to athletics and eventually expand to other aspects of student life. Jimmy Ware, a regional development senior and member of the WillPower said he thinks the club has the potential to not only turn into a tradition on campus but become a movement to other colleges as well.

“We can make this a tradition in the future where people can look back on and think WillPower,” Ware said.

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