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Penn State Hoops Partnering With Butler For Project 44 Night

Penn State men’s basketball is partnering with Butler to host Project 44 Night during the basketball game between the two programs Monday night.

Project 44 is an organization that focuses on helping people find bone marrow matches. It was made in honor of Andrew Smith, a former Butler player who was on both of the Cinderella teams that made it to the NCAA championship in 2010 and 2011. He received a bone marrow transplant during his two-year battle with cancer, giving him more time before he passed away in January 2016.

Penn State head coach Micah Shrewsberry was an assistant coach on that team and knew Smith very well.

“The first experience meeting Andrew… I believe his first year he didn’t say more than five words. He was just so quiet,” Shrewsberry said. “Then, the next year, he becomes a starter on a team that goes to the national championship game.”

The initial goal of Project 44 is to save 44 lives, and in the process, make the bone marrow matching pool more diverse than it was when Smith was matched. He received a match easily due to being a male of European descent. For other people with other backgrounds, they may not receive a match in time. According to its website, 18,920 new registry members are needed to complete its goal.

“Everyone’s going to remember the big games, everybody is going to remember the big moments, but how you touch people’s lives, how you impact people’s lives, how you change people’s lives, that is way more important,” Shrewsberry said.

If you would like to join the bone marrow registry, you can do so here. The Project 44 Night game will tip off at 8:30 p.m. tonight at the Bryce Jordan Center.

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey was a Secondary Education major before he graduated from the wonderful institution known as Penn State. When he was not writing for the blog, he enjoyed rooting for the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens, supporting Penn State basketball and softball, dreaming of all of the ways he would win the TV show "Survivor," and yes mom, actually doing school work. All of this work prepared him to teach his own class of students, which was always his true passion. He still can be found on Twitter @theowenabbey and can be reached for questions and comments at [email protected]

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