College Sports

Tar Heels to help raise awareness for pediatric cancer

The North Carolina men’s basketball team will wear opposite color shoes Saturday against the University of Alabama at Birmingham to raise awareness for pediatric cancer.

Fans also are asked to wear opposite color shoes in an initiative started by former Tar Heel assistant coach Jerod Haase, now in his third year as UAB’s head coach. Haase played for Roy Williams at Kansas and was on UNC’s staff under Williams from 2004-12.

Three seasons ago, UAB adopted a 5-year-old boy named Elijah Serritt, who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Since then, Eljah has undergone 17 surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy.

In an effort to assist Elijah and other children fighting cancer, Haase has asked his players to wear opposite color shoes each game during the 2014-15 season. Haase and the Blazers are also challenging each of their opponents this year to wear opposite color shoes (one color on one foot and a different color on the other).

Duke: While visiting El Paso for the Sun Bowl, members of the Duke football team took a trip to the El Paso Children’s Hospital, a local hospital opened in February 2012 that is the largest expansion of pediatric medical services in West Texas and features 122 private pediatric rooms.

Duke’s players spent time talking with patients as well as signing autographs and taking pictures.