FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Over the course of his coaching career, Northern Arizona Head Coach Jack Murphy has developed many friendships with his former players and colleagues in the college and professional basketball ranks. They have joined forces to support his Lumberjack basketball program by purchasing tickets to provide to local non-profit organizations to attend games and support the team in 2012-13.
"It means the world to me," said Murphy. "It shows that not only do they believe in me but what we are trying to build here at Northern Arizona."
Several organizations have been recipients of the "Friends of Jack" tickets this season, including the Flagstaff Recreation Center, the Murdoch Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Arizona, Fit Kids of Arizona and the Sunnyside Community Outreach.
"It helps get the Flagstaff community involved because it opens up the doors of the Skydome to groups and people that may not have had a chance prior to attend a game," said Murphy. "I cannot thank the gentlemen enough that became part of that group."
The "Friends of Jack" includes Memphis Head Coach Josh Pastner, who spearheaded the project. Former University of Arizona standouts Luke Walton (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Andre Iguodala (Denver Nuggets) and Michael O'Neal, president of Diamond Standard LLC, are also part of the group.
"They really have humbled me by their kindness and gifts," said Murphy.
Forty-four Family Packs were purchased, providing 176 tickets each game to be distributed to non-profit groups in northern Arizona.
"Our Fit Kids families and friends were very excited about the opportunity to attend a collegiate basketball game," said Matt Leversee, Fit Kids of Arizona Program Manager. "For many of them this was their first experience seeing NAU live in person."
Organizations wishing to participate in the "Friends of Jack" program should contact Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing/Special Events Rocky Silvestri at 928-523-3389.