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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Athletes fundraise for Africa

    From left, Wildcat volleyball players Brooke Buringrud, Tiffany Owens, Whitney Dosty and Randy Goodenough shoot hoops on the UA Mall yesterday as part of the 48-Hour Practice to help raise money to build clean water wells in Africa. The practice, organized in part by former UA track and field athlete Marquita Taylor, runs through tomorrow at 3 p.m.
    From left, Wildcat volleyball players Brooke Buringrud, Tiffany Owens, Whitney Dosty and Randy Goodenough shoot hoops on the UA Mall yesterday as part of the 48-Hour Practice to help raise money to build clean water wells in Africa. The practice, organized in part by former UA track and field athlete Marquita Taylor, runs through tomorrow at 3 p.m.

    Practice is usually a structured and exhausting activity for the 18 varsity teams and numerous club squads at the UA.

    Athletes can describe them as grueling and strenuous and often save a few choice words for the head coach, but usually practice is never fun.

    At least not until Marquita Taylor, a former UA track and field athlete, and a member of Athletes in Action, a Christian athletic group, organized the 48-Hour Practice, to raise money to build clean water wells for 1,000 African communities.

    “”I think it’s just amazing,”” Taylor said. “”It shows athletes doing something besides their sport and you get to see them out here doing something for a great cause and they are out here enjoying it and loving it and it shows the real athlete. They don’t just know about their sport, they know what is going on in the world.””

    Freshman Adrien Burnett of the Arizona wheelchair basketball team had no complaints about taking “”practice”” outdoors.

    “”We’re having a lot of fun,”” he said. “”A lot of people support us and we want to let people know that there are a lot of other things than just wheelchair basketball. It shows our dedication, not just to our sport, but to our university that we are all-around athletes – student athletes – and that’s what it’s all about.””

    The 48-Hour Practice, which will run until Tuesday at 3 p.m., kicked off yesterday afternoon at 3 by the UA soccer team and members of the Arizona wheelchair basketball team. Each sport will hold two one-hour “”practice”” sessions on the mall, while hoping people will donate money to the cause.

    “”We want to support our university as much as possible and if it means coming out here and doing this, then we’re gonna be the first ones to step up and give back,”” said sophomore Jackie Namdar, a member of the soccer team. “”Our goal is to raise $1,500 because that is enough for one well, if we can do that that would be awesome.””

    The University of Wisconsin started the event in 2006 and has raised over $7,000 according to 48hourpractice.com.

    Taylor said the goal of the event is to have fun and raise money. That was best portrayed by the soccer team’s impromptu volleyball game.

    Fendi Onobun, a forward on the men’s basketball team, was out yesterday with teammates Kirk Walters and David Bagga enjoying the sunshine and contributing to the cause. They tossed a Frisbee, kicked around a soccer ball, took hacks with a plastic bat at a plastic ball and played a round of H-O-R-S-E on a portable basket.

    “”I think it says a lot about the personality and integrity (of the student athletes) and what it means to give,”” Onobun added. “”They don’t have to do this, nobody is obligated to do this, and I think it’s awesome to have guys out here like myself, Kirk and David Bagga to come out here and dedicate our time and money for people we don’t even know all the way across the other side of the world.””

    Walters brought out his roommate’s dog, Stevie, in a failed attempt to get her to fetch a Frisbee.

    “”She’s so lazy,”” Walters said. “”She just lies there and looks at it.””

    As a fifth-year public health senior, Walters said he knows the importance of clean water and is just happy to be able to give back.

    “”I know a lot of times we are thrown into the spotlight and whenever we can come out here and help some people out we do,”” he said.

    Junior Brooke Buringrud took some time to shoot hoops with some fellow volleyball players, while her teammate Whitney Dosty threw some deep passes to Earl Mitchell, a member of the UA football team.

    “”(Participating in 48-hour practice) shows that we actually take (this) serious and we are much more than just athletes,”” Mitchell said. “”But that we actually came (to Arizona) because we care about school and an individual program like Athletes in Action.””

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