UCSB Offers Free Admission to Thursday's Basketball Game for Donations to Aid Tsunami Victims

Dec. 29, 2004

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is offering free admission to its Thursday, December 30 men's basketball game between the Gauchos and Big West Conference rival UC Irvine, to anyone who brings a donation of canned food, bottled water or an article of clothing, to aid the victims of the deadly tsunami that devastated ten countries last weekend.

"The horror of what happened last weekend is almost beyond comprehension," said Gaucho head coach Bob Williams. "We watch the pictures on the television and read about the devastation and it puts college basketball into perspective. If, working through the right channels, we can make even a tiny difference or spur others on to help, then that's what we need to do."

All donations will be channeled through either VeAhavta, a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing charitable assistance to low income, destitute and displaced persons, or Arosha Samarasena, a Sri Lankan native and Santa Barbara resident who is working with The Sri Lankan Medical Relief Group. Mr. Samarasena will deliver donations to the Buddhist Temple in Pasadena, Calif., where they will be prepared for transport.

UCSB and UC Irvine each opened the Big West Conference season on Tuesday night with victories. The Gauchos defeated Long Beach State by a 54-47 score, while the Anteaters won on the road at Cal Poly, 85-75.

The UCSB-UCI tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the Thunderdome. In addition to free admission for donations, parking will be free.