Whether it’s a nationally-known program such as Coaches vs. Cancer or Samaritan’s Feet, college basketball coaches have used their status to raise funds and exposure for some great causes. Another such organization is the Brayden Carr Foundation, which was founded by current Rhode Island assistant coach Jim Carr and his wife Natalie in 2011.
The couple created the foundation shortly after the passing of their 2 1/2 year old son Brayden, with the goal being to raise funds that will help aid those (both the children and their families) dealing with seizure disorders. The Carr family will hold its third annual Brayden Carr Foundation Coaches Clinic on Friday on the campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University, and the list of coaches taking part reads off like a “who’s who” of basketball.
It’s an all-day affair, with attendees having the opportunity to learn from coaches such as Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), Sean Miller (Arizona) and Buzz Williams (Marquette). Generally coaches would require an appearance fee to speak at a clinic, but this isn’t that kind of event. None of the participating coaches in the three years of the event has ever asked Carr for an appearance fee, and in a story written by Tara Sullivan of the Bergen Record the act of getting them to accept anything is like pulling teeth. That’s how much they want to assist the Foundation, which will raise more than $100,000 with this event.
Under Brayden’s watchful eye (Carr posts his picture alongside the countdown clock), each coach has an hour to speak, sharing drills and coaching tips while working with a group of Division III players available for demonstration. In three years, not one coach has taken a cent for providing such knowledge. They take care of their transportation costs, too.
“To get them to take a hotel room is an ordeal,” Carr said. “It’s an honor to have Bray’s name associated with these guys.”
One coach who could relate to the pain felt by the Carrs is Florida head coach Billy Donovan, who spoke at the first coaching clinic held by the Brayden Carr Foundation.
“My wife and I lost a child, so we feel an immediate connection to this. We understand what’s going on,” Florida coach Billy Donovan, one of the clinic’s original speakers, said by phone. “For them to keep his name close, to think that they took something very difficult and turned it into a positive, is a credit to them. They are great people. I’ve always admired Jimmy. He has a great heart.”
All of the proceeds go towards scholarships given out to families in need of services such as rehabilitation, tuition assistance and financial need, with amounts ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.