BY BREANN LENZMEIER
When the MSUM men’s basketball team takes to the court on Friday against Minot State, fans will notice something a little different on the sidelines.
Head coach Chad Walthall will be coaching his team barefoot, taking part in the Samaritan’s Feet Project. This is the first year Walthall will be taking part in the project, and he is joining area coaches in the effort.
“It’s something that I have been aware of for a number of years. Ron Hunter, a coach at IUPUI started doing it, and it has taken off from there,” Walthall said.
Samaritan’s Feet raises money for children in need of shoes. Walthall said he hopes that by doing this, fans will ask questions about it and will bring awareness to the issue.
“This brings awareness, and to help as a basketball program and help people become aware of the need for young people to have something on their feet,” Walthall said.
Walthall said he doesn’t know what the reaction of the fans will be on Friday.
“It will be interesting. Hopefully, people will ask questions and find out why we are doing it and how they can help,” Walthall said.
Walthall said this is a small way to help fix the problem that affects children both locally and around the world. He said that this is bigger than athletics. If they can do their part to help in a small way, and if they can get one person involved, then it will all be worth it.
Walthall said that it might feel a little different coaching on Friday without shoes.
“I get anxious before games, but that’s my job. Once the game starts I will be coaching like I normally do,” Walthall said.
Walthall joins NDSU’s Saul Phillips, Concordia’s Rich Glas and North Dakota’s Brian Jones as men’s basketball coaches taking part in the Samaritan’s Feet Project this year.
Fans will be able to donate at the game on Friday or go online to samaritansfeet.myetap.org/fundraiser/mnstate/team.
Game time is 8 p.m. on Friday against Minot State.