UAH Basketball Dribble

Feb 1, 2011

THETA PI (Alabama-Huntsville) — These aren’t just crazy fraternity guys having some fun.

Well, they are having fun. But it’s fun for a good cause.

University of Alabama in Huntsville fraternity Alpha Tau Omega, Theta Pi chapter, will be dribbling a basketball across the Tennessee Valley to raise money for cancer research.

Specifically, fraternity members – for the 21st straight year – will dribble from the University of North Alabama in Florence back to the UAH campus.

They will start after the UAH basketball game at UNA on Thursday night and arrive back on campus in the wee hours of Friday morning.

It’s expected to take about six or seven hours to travel the 65 miles from UNA.

“It’s very unique,” said ATO member Jeremiah House, a junior from St. Joseph, Tenn.

The fraternity has established a goal of raising $5,000 from the event. Donations may be made at the fraternity’s website,

House said all proceeds are donated to the Russell Hill Cancer Foundation in Huntsville. That cause took on added significance to the fraternity when Paul Salmon, an ATO brother, died of leukemia in 2007.

“Before that point, we didn’t have a unique charity,” House said. “We spread our funds out. But once he passed away and the Russell Hill Cancer Foundation really helped him through his struggles when he was alive, we decided we wanted to make that our main charity. Everything we do, we give to them.”

The fraternity hosted a car show last fall that raised about $7,900, House said.

This will be the third overnight dribbling journey House has made. Fraternity members take half-mile turns dribbling the basketball and between 40 and 55 members will participate this year, House said.

“By the end of the night, each brother ends up running four to six miles,” House said. “It does get tiring but we lift each other up and we make sure we make it through.”

But what about the basketball? How well does it hold up?

“Surprisingly, it does,” House said. “We buy a brand new basketball before we start. By the time we get to Huntsville, it has a lot of wear and tear. Then we sign it after we get done and it goes in our trophy case.”


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