UK’s first scrimmage opponent this season, Transylvania University, is rallying behind the memory of a true Transy basketball fan who passed away on Monday, November 4th.
Max Gjerde, a 2009 graduate of TU, passed away on Monday morning after a three and a half year battle with cancer. He had been diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma just shortly after graduation, right before he was to enter graduate school. Gjerde was a huge fan of Transylvania basketball and could be seen in the front row of every game, dressed up along with the rest of his fraternity brothers. He had a ticket and was supposed to go to the UK/Transy game on Friday, but after recently being re-admitted to the hospital, Max was told that he would not be cleared to attend the event.
After Transylvania’s head coach found out about Max not being able to come to the game at Rupp Arena, Brian Lane and the Transy men’s basketball team called Gjerde via FaceTime, just two hours before tip. Lane said in an interview with WKYT, “(Max) said you need to go down there and play hard and don’t be intimidated. Go Pios! They had set it up to where we could lift his spirits, but in reality, he did a lot more for us than we did for him.” The hashtag #3sForMax was created before the game by Brian Conover, friend of Gjerde’s and Transylvania employee, to rally around Max during the UK/Transy contest. The Pioneers dedicated all of their threes in that game (and now all season) to Max.
In the recent days since Gjerde’s passing, friends have created a charity fundraiser, continuing the theme of #3sForMax. All proceeds will go to 3 Little Birds 4 Life, a charity that Gjerde had worked with and asked as his final wish for people to embrace the organization. The fundraiser is a pledge drive, where people wanting to donate can pledge $0.05/$0.10 or more for every three point basket Transylvania’s men’s basketball team hits in the 2013-14 season. If someone pledges $0.10 and Transy hits 200 threes, their donation at the end of the season will be $20.00. With 45 pledges made in the first day, as of right now, each trey Transy makes raises $15.45 for charity. The eight three-pointers that Transy hit against UK have already been included in the tally. After the fundraiser launched on Thursday afternoon, Gjerde’s story has been told on kyforward.com as well as a piece on WKYT on Thursday evening.
To make a pledge and find out more about #3sForMax go to: http://3sForMax.tumblr.com