Willard among 48 coaches in Infiniti charity challenge

Seton Hall men’s basketball head coach Kevin Willard is one of 48 NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball coaches selected to compete in the National Association of Basketball Coaches Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge.

The Challenge, which expanded to 48 participants from 14 last year, is a web-based voting competition where fans can vote for their favorite coaches, each competing for a charity of his choice.

The charities have already received a $5,000 donation for being selected, and the coach who earns the highest number of votes earns his charity an additional $100,000.

Currently, Willard is fourth in the East Region with 7 percent of the vote while West Virginia’s Bob Huggins leads the region with 25 percent of votes.

Last season Florida’s Billy Donovan won the first installment of the challenge after receiving 51 percent of the vote with his winnings going to the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation.

Willard has selected the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as his charity.

“I am very pleased to have been selected as one of the 48 coaches participating in this very worthwhile competition,” Willard said. “I’m ecstatic to know that $5,000 will automatically go to fight cystic fibrosis. My hope is that the Seton Hall faithful will support us in large numbers in this venture, so we can win the competition and make a significant contribution to a wonderful charity.”

The Coaches’ Charity Challenge began Wednesday, Jan. 18 and will last until Monday, Feb. 27. On that day, a final four (based on the top vote-getters in each region) will be selected, and the voting will be reset.

Fans can vote for one of the final four over the next week and a half to determine the winner of the competition.

Fans can vote for Willard by logging on to http://www.espn.com/infiniti. He can be found in the “East” region tab.

Voters must have an account on ESPN’s website to be able to vote. Fans can create an account by logging on to ESPN.com and clicking the “Register” link in the top right-hand corner of the site. Votes from the same ESPN account can be cast once every 24 hours.

“The overwhelming popularity of men’s college basketball provides an outstanding platform for coaches across America,” NABC President Ernie Kent said. “While most fans follow every aspect of their team’s on-court performances, the Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge enables people to see the numerous charitable and community endeavors championed by coaches off the court.”

Jason Guerette can be reached at Jason.guerette@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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