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Managers on a Mission, Athletes in Action team up for Final Four charity event in Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS — As the college basketball world converges on Minneapolis for the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four this weekend, Managers on a Mission, a local Christ-centered ministry, held an event Thursday called “Clean Out For A Cause,” during which 150 young people in the Twin Cities area came to the Minneapolis Convention Center to pick out and take home gear from donations made to MOAM by pro and college sports teams.

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“The Lord really orchestrated this, having Athletes in Action coming alongside of us,” Drew Boe, Director of Managers on a Mission, told Sports Spectrum. “[We’re] able to leverage our ‘Clean Out For A Cause’ program and donate the gear to inner-city kids and show the love of Christ, and help coaches and athletes understand it as really a go-to way, being able to maximize the impact of using excess gear.”

During their visit, the young guests helped pack snack boxes for other kids the program helps, picked out some sports apparel to take home from the donated stash, and got to meet and hear motivational speeches by High Point University (N.C.) men’s basketball coach and former NCAA champion Tubby Smith, Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders, Timberwolves forward Anthony Tolliver, and Minnesota Gophers senior Jordan Murphy.

“This was the very first one and I had no idea what to expect, but it went great,” Boe said. “Coach Saunders came; the players, they just wanted to help. I was just fortunate that the Lord really brought the right people around this entire thing.”

Volunteers with Managers on a Mission distribute clothing and apparel to families in Minneapolis at the “Clean out for a Cause” event. (Photo by Sports Spectrum)

Smith, who won a college basketball title in 1998 when he was the head coach at Kentucky, spoke to the kids and their families about the importance of giving back and serving others.

“I remember coming back from Africa, Kenya. My wife and I had been on a missionary trip with our church. And we told the team, the players, everybody that would listen, how great that experience was, to give back and to serve others. Remember: To whom much is given, much is required,” Smith told the crowd. “If you have more than one thing, more than one pair of shoes, more than one shirt, you have an abundance of things to give. What an honor it is to be here today.”

MOAM, started by Boe in 2013, has gathered excess apparel from more than 100 college programs and half of the nation’s pro sports teams over the past six years. Coach Smith, upon his departure from the University of Minnesota in 2013, made the first donation — 50 pounds worth of his old U of M gear he would no longer use since he had become the head coach at Texas Tech.

MOAM’s primary desire is to develop Christ-centered future leaders of the sports industry through mission trips, service projects and scholarships. You can learn more about the organization’s work by visiting ManagersonaMission.org.

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