MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin men's basketball team introduced a new fundraising effort to help the family of assistant coach Howard Moore prior to Friday night's home opener.
In May, the Moore family was traveling to visit family in Detroit when their vehicle was hit by a wrong-way driver. Moore's wife, Jen, and their 9-year-old daughter, Jaidyn, were killed. Moore and his son, Jerell, survived the crash.
Patrick Herb, who works behind the scenes for the team as the director of brand strategies, still remembers that day.
"News started to spread internally among the team on Saturday morning," he said. "I got a call out of the blue at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning. It's the type of call that rocks you to the core."
Herb said the team visited with Moore shortly after the crash. He recalls players were heartbroken and nervous to approach the situation, but their coach encouraged them to focus on their sport.
"This team is moving forward through basketball," Herb said. "Howard gave the team permission to do that."
On Friday, the Badgers hosted Eastern Illinois in the team's home opener. Prior to tipoff, the team honored the Moore family with a moment of silence, video tribute, and even let Jerell join the team during the starting lineup announcements.
In addition, the Badgers introduced a fundraising initiative to help the Moore family.
"It's about living our lives the way Howard does," Herb said. "That's by being selfless, bigger than yourself, and putting others first."
(To give to the Moore family donation fund, text MOORE TO 69050. All proceeds will help to serve the Moore family's recovery.)