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Utah Women’s Basketball Growing Brand With Community Outreach

Jan 10, 2023, 1:06 PM

Utah-Women's-Basketball-Coach-Lynne-Roberts...

Head coach Lynne Roberts of the Utah Utes watches her team take on the Oregon Ducks during the Pac-12 Conference women’s basketball tournament quarterfinals at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on March 6, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Ducks defeated the Utes 79-59. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY-Β Utah women’s basketball is in the process of growing their brand to match their recent successes and have announced a new community outreach program to help in the matter. As the flagship university in the state of Utah, the University of Utah as well as its athletic department have prided themselves for a long time on their strong presence in the community.

Head coach Lynne Roberts with her team sitting at No. 10 in the country and 14-1 on the season is hoping the Utes’ new initiative announced Tuesday afternoon called “Beyond the Paint” will be an extension of the good work the university and athletics department as a whole have done over the years, while also bringing in new fans to enjoy and build upon their current successes.

“I love living in Salt Lake City and so does my family,” Roberts said. “A big part of the Salt Lake City community is connecting with the U, and together we have a tremendous platform to serve those in need in our community. The needs are many, and it is our goal to generate excitement around our basketball program while supporting some of our community’s greatest needs.”

Beyond The Paint: A Perfect Storm

Roberts has been passionately building the women’s basketball team since she took the job in 2015. It’s been a long process full of steps forward and what felt like many steps back, but her unwavering belief that the Utes could be a sleeping giant in a stacked Pac-12 Conference for women’s basketball finally appears to have come to fruition last season.

The Utes finished the 2021-2022 year with 21 wins, their first appearance in the Pac-12 Championship game and their first berth in the NCAA Tournament since 2011. Early on in the 2022-2023 campaign it appears Utah is here to stay in the women’s college basketball game and it’s Roberts’ hope they can start generating the buzz worthy of a Top 10 team, while also using their position to give back to the community, hence the creation of “Beyond the Paint”.

“We’re excited to bring community organizations into our program, and we encourage our fans to join us in directly supporting these organizations,” Roberts said. “There are multiple ways to contribute, including an easy-to-access QR code online and on-site to encourage donations, and information at our games about other ways to get involved to serve the needs of our partnered community organizations.”

What Is “Beyond The Paint”?

Beyond the Paint is a community outreach initiative Utah women’s basketball will be implementing in hopes of bringing in more fans to their program while also brining attention and action to areas of need in the community.

The idea is to help create a strong community bond the way football recently has with OBlock Cares and Utah Foster, or gymnastics with their “Who Rocks The House” collective.

Beyond the Paint’s first week will feature the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge program which helps provide free homes away from home for cancer patients and their caregivers while also giving a nurturing community that helps patients access the care they need.

Roberts and the Utes will be hosting a bingo night Wednesday, January 11 to kick off the initiative ahead of their games against Arizona State and Arizona later in the week. The Lodge patients will then be invited to the games, have an Honorary Coach of the Game, and receive in-game recognition with the aim of helping connect fans in attendance with a good cause to support. Roberts has also vowed to donate $100 for every three-point shot her team makes in the games to the organization.

“This is very personal for my family and me, so we will be donating $100 for every made three-pointer by our team in these games,” Roberts said. “My dream for this community series is for our fans to not only become more aware of some of our community’s needs, but to have an opportunity to turn that awareness into action, lending their support to these programs.”

The Causes Utah Will Be Supporting For The 2022-2023 Schedule

Every week of the remaining Pac-12 home schedule for the Utes will feature a different cause Roberts and her athletes will be supporting and bringing attention to.

Jan. 13 (ASU) & 15 (Arizona) – Salt Lake City: American Cancer Society Hope Lodge
Jan. 27 (USC) & 29 (UCLA) – Show Up Utah: Unified Sports
Feb. 10 (UW) and 12 (WSU) – Salt Lake City: Food Justice Coalition
Feb. 23 (Cal) and 25 (Stanford) – Salt Lake City: Food Bank

 

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

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Utah Women’s Basketball Growing Brand With Community Outreach