Gators, JU to play basketball game for hurricane relief
Nov. 2 matchup set for JU's Swisher Gym
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – News4Jax has learned that the Florida Gators and Jacksonville University Dolphins will play an exhibition basketball game Nov. 2 at JU's Swisher Gym in Jacksonville to raise money for hurricane relief.
Tickets are scheduled to go on sale Thursday at 2 p.m. online at JUtickets.com. General admission tickets will cost $10.
The money raised will go to Florida's First Coast Relief Fund, that through the United Way, benefits local nonprofit organizations in Duval, Clay, Baker, St. Johns, Nassau and Putnam counties who provide disaster-relief services.
"We've seen the news coverage and heard stories of all the people affected by the weather damage around our state, so we're glad to be able to take part in this event and appreciate Jacksonville University's willingness to host the Gators to benefit a great cause," Florida head coach Mike White said.
Florida first reached out to Jacksonville University head coach Tony Jasick last week, but the game wasn't finalized until Tuesday morning, a quick turnaround.
"We’re not ready to play Florida. We’re not ready to play anybody," Jasick said. "The bigger piece to this night and this event is the opportunity to give back. You can’t pass up an opportunity like this not just for JU and our campus but also the community of Jacksonville and northeast Florida.”
This is not the first game to raise money for hurricane relief. Kansas and Missouri renewed their rivalry Sunday, playing a basketball game for the first time since Missouri left the Big XII for the SEC after the 2011-2012 season. The game, played in Kansas City, raised $1.75 million for hurricane relief.
The NCAA has provided a waiver for teams to play an additional exhibition game this preseason to help schools raise money for various hurricane-related charities. While the game will not count in the record of either team, Jassick believes that it can benefit his team's development.
"Anytime you have a chance to compete against the best it’s an exciting opportunity," Jasick said. "Hopefully we can grow through it, and the best thing is regardless of score regardless of outcome both teams are going to be undeated."
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