Penn State History Lesson: Team Ream

If you’ve walked around Penn State’s campus the past few years, you’ve probably seen someone wearing a “Team Ream” t-shirt.

But what exactly is the story behind these shirts? Well, it all starts with Brandon Ream.

Ream was a State College native and a lifelong Centre County resident who graduated from Penn State in 2006 with a business degree. He became well-known and well-loved among Penn Staters after walking onto the football team as a punter.

Ream’s life changed in 2011 when he was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. Throughout his treatment, Ream and his wife, Samantha, kept a blog titled Team Ream, and the moniker was born.

Ream quickly gained an army of supporters in Happy Valley — a Team, if you will — who organized races and generally backed him during his fight with cancer. Unfortunately, he lost his battle with cancer in late 2013.

However, after Ream’s death, his spirit continued to live on in the Penn State community. The Team Ream Foundation was created in his honor to assist folks in Happy Valley who have been financially affected by cancer and other medical conditions.

Samantha Ream, who was also a three-time All-American Penn State women’s volleyball player, serves as the executive director of the organization.

Former Penn State men’s basketball coach Pat Chambers quickly joined up with the foundation and started a new tradition at the Jordan Center, which they called Team Ream Day. Ream was a big supporter of the hoops program and was often seen sitting courtside during home games.

The day quickly became an annual tradition and the program would pass out the iconic Team Ream shirts ahead of each game. The Nittany Lions’ January 8 game against No. 3 Purdue was the most recent iteration of the event.

In addition to Team Ream day, the not-for-profit organization has held other events like Coaches vs. Cancer races and van donation drives.

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a redshirt senior majoring in business and journalism from "Philadelphia" and mostly writes about football nowadays. You can follow him on Twitter @rjparsons9 or say hi via email at [email protected].

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