Dolphins to wear red heart hair bands to support the American Heart Association and the 44 for Life Foundation.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville women’s lacrosse team makes its first road trip of the year this Saturday as the Dolphins travel to Presbyterian for a 1:00 pm contest.
The Blue Hose (0-3) are coming off a narrow 17-14 loss last Sunday to Fresno State in Los Angeles. The Dolphins meanwhile improved to 2-2 on the year following a 15-5 win over San Diego last Saturday, but this week’s game is more than just another road test for JU. It’s a chance for the Dolphins to showcase a worthy cause that has been a driving inspiration to the program.
All week long the team has been fundraising for the American Heart Association by selling Heart in Honor, Memory, or Hero of someone who has been affected by heart disease. As a result the Dolphins will be wearing red heart hair bands to support the American Heart Association and the 44 for Life Foundation.
In addition, all of the hearts sold this past week will be hung on the fence behind the JU bench and names of those on the hearts will be read at halftime.
“It all comes back to recognizing our roots. We want to respectfully raise awareness about heart disease and sudden cardiac arrest in sports and keep the lacrosse community focused on this issue. It touches all our lives in one way or another,” said JU Head Coach Mindy McCord.
The Dolphins gained their inspiration from former Loyola Marymount basketball all-american Bo Kimble and his late teammate Hank Gathers who tragically passed away from heart-muscle disorder in March of 1990.
“Bo Kimble is a huge part of our lives and our family here at JU and the story of his friend Hank Gathers and his Loyola Marymount teammates and coaches resonates with us,” said McCord. “In fact, after watching the ESPN 30-for-30 special, we decided in year two to try something different in order to be competitive. Within a few weeks we had almost knocked off the Team USA’s U19 team and we beat #19 Denver.”
Kimble addressed the JU team on Wednesday this week. The program shares a special connection with the former NBA Lottery Pick. The foundation of the Dolphins run-n-gun high powered offense that set a NCAA record with 18.16 goals per game last spring is based on the up-tempo style Kimble and his teammates made famous when they set a NCAA record with 122.4 points per game in 1990.
“Watching them practice I have to say that the System is alive and well here at JU,” said Kimble. “They are working so hard in practice and they enjoy practicing and improving. I think of they have confidence and they shoot the ball more, more scoring titles are coming down the road.”
Kimble knows that the best is still yet to come for a program that just started four years ago.
“People forget that they are in their fourth season and they have become a program that is accomplishing so much in a short amount of time. The last time I was here they were working on their scoring touch and taking shots. Now they are going after the top programs in the nation. When I saw the Vanderbilt game and watched them run out to an 11-1 lead, I saw what they are capable of. The regular season is all about getting ready for the tournament.”
Kimble’s messages to the team have been inspirational for the student-athletes.
“I told the team that Hank’s loss brought about a sense of pride in all his friends and teammates and family to do something positive,” said Kimble. “For myself it was the 44-for-life foundation and learning CPR and becoming a certified instructor so I could help prevent sudden cardiac death.”
The story of his career has done more than just help mold the success of the JU program, it has given the Dolphins a chance to go out and write their own story to help inspire others.
“This program is more than a team to Coach Mindy and Coach Paul. It’s more than that to me. This is family. They have their own stories to tell about how they have become the team that they are. And the stories keep being written every time they take the field.”
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