Saint Mary's and Hawai'i Men's Basketball to Play Charity Exhibition for Maui Relief
The game's proceeds will support those impacted by the Maui wildfires. It will also be a reunion of sorts: Hawai'i head coach Eran Ganot worked with the Gaels from 1995 to 2015.
The Saint Mary's College and University of Hawai'i men's basketball programs will play a charity exhibition game on Friday, October 20 at the SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu. The game will serve as a means to help those impacted by the Maui wildfires.
The two basketball programs look to do their part in supporting victims of a natural disaster that has so far taken 115 lives and destroyed thousands of structures, the majority of which were residential.
"It's always an excellent opportunity to take on a quality opponent like the University of Hawai'i in exhibition play, but this adds an extra bonus for our team to help those in need," Saint Mary's head coach Randy Bennett said. "The wildfires in Maui are a great tragedy, and we are grateful for the opportunity to help those in need through this game."
"It's hard to put into words how we are all feeling for Maui and its tremendous community," Hawai'i head coach Eran Ganot said. "The devastation of the nation's worst wildfire in more than 100 years has hit us all, near and far. Beyond our immediate thoughts and prayers, it has left us searching for ways we can help. We are pleased to announce this exhibition game as a way to support our friends and families on Maui. I want to thank Saint Mary's College, head coach Randy Bennett, and all those involved as we come together for a vital cause. It's been inspiring to see the full power of Hawai'i and our people during this tragedy. We encourage all to continue to find ways to support."
Uniting for Good
The meeting will serve as a reunion of sorts for two coaches with a close bond. Bennett gave Ganot his first collegiate coaching job 20 years ago as a volunteer assistant at Saint Mary's. Ganot eventually served as Bennet's associate head coach with the Gaels before he eventually took the helm at Hawai'i in 2015. This will be the first time ever the two coaches will square off against each other. The two programs last met 10 years ago in the 2013 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.
Saint Mary's is coming off another highly successful season in which it went 27–8 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. UH, meanwhile, returns three starters from last year's squad that won 22 games for the program's sixth straight winning season.
More details regarding the charity exhibition, including ticket information, will be provided in the near future.
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