Sports Spectrum Magazine Summer 2021

UAB Blazers will wear ill children's name on back of homecoming jersey

It’s common for coaches to tell their players to play for the names on the front of the jersey and not the back. But, for the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers football team, they will honor the names on the back of their jersey’s, with a little twist.

UAB will replace the names of their players and replace them with the names of the patients the local children’s hospital Children’s Harbor on Oct. 7, when UAB hosts Louisiana Tech.

All 100 team members will have a name of a child, in memory or honor families, that were served at the Children’s Harbor.

“Children’s Harbor has absolutely become a part of the Blazer family,” said head coach Bill Clark on a school issued statement. “I intend for this relationship to grow with our program. As we build, there will be even more we can do to provide encouragement and a positive distraction to support the terrific work Children’s Harbor does.”

The Children’s Harbor’s mission is to provide children with serious illnesses and their families a place to be themselves – to have fun and relax – while also receiving no-cost services that make life a bit easier for the whole family.

Located a block away from UAB’s campus, Head Coach Bill Clark adopted Children’s Harbor as their community charity in 2016. The Blazers will also fill a section of Legion Field with Children’s Harbor families during the game, and will give the jerseys away to the patients and their families after the game.

“The joy and enthusiasm that Coach Clark and the UAB players bring to the Children’s Harbor families is palpable and brings a level of healing that is truly beyond our ability alone,” Children’s Harbor CEO Myrle Grate said.

“Recognizing these children and their families is a way for UAB to show our support and to let them know they are not in this fight alone,” said Director of Athletic Mark Ingram. “It is going to be a special day at Legion Field at our Homecoming game on Oct. 7 and we hope everyone will join us to take part in something truly unique.

UAB is 2-2 and will have this week off before hosting Louisiana Tech.