Nationally ranked UMD basketball returning home Saturday to host Holiday Hoops Drive

UMD basketball to host Holiday Hoops Donation Drive

UMD basketball to host Holiday Hoops Donation Drive

Both the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) men’s and women’s basketball teams are considered top 25 teams in the nation.

In the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches DII Coaches Poll the Bulldog men landed 21st with an 8-2 record.

In the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association DII poll UMD landed 22nd with a 7-2 record.

Both programs are set to visit Concordia St. Paul this Thursday, then host Winona State on Saturday. The men tip-off Saturday at 2 p.m., then the women battle at 4 p.m. at Romano Gym.

Saturday UMD will also be hosting a Holiday Hoops drive where they’ll be collecting item donations, like toiletries, chargers, clothes and bus passes, to support the Chum Shelter & Warming Center and Duluth community.

“We had somebody come and speak to our team about the homelessness crisis going on in our country right now and just thought it would be a great way to give back. We asked her, what do we need? What can the community benefit from? And she gave us some ideas,” Mandy Pearson said, head coach of UMD women’s basketball.

“With Duluth they provide a lot of support, especially last year during that championship run. So having them support us, it’s just kind of helpful for us to give back to the community as well,” senior guard Taya Hakamaki said.

“Hopefully we can get as many people here as we can. The community is everything to us. Obviously, we love playing in front of our fans and having them come out and support us, but we like to give back just as much,” graduate guard Drew Blair said.

“UMD student-athletes, our student-athletes really take it serious as far as giving back to their community,” Justin Wieck said, head coach of UMD men’s basketball.

The College of St. Scholastica is also participating in the drive.