Help Shaka Win ESPN Coaches Charity Challenge

For the 3rd consecutive year, Shaka Smart is participating in the ESPN / Infiniti Coaches Charity Challenge. This is a competition that involves head basketball coaches from around the country, and each coach selects a non-profit to partner with. Conducted similar to the NCAA Tournament, it is an online voting competition, where the coaches with the most votes advances through each round until there is a final winner. Each round that a coach advances, his partner agency earns a financial prize.

In his 3rd year of this challenge, Coach Smart has again selected FRIENDS Association for Children, a local non-profit agency, which has been serving children and families in the Richmond community for over 140 years. “Maya and I visited the FRIENDS Centers and have seen firsthand the positive influence they have on the children”, Coach Smart said. “We want to do all we can to help their work to prepare these children for success in school.”

Shaka finished in 2nd place his first year, and 6th place last year. Thad Matta, of The Ohio State University has won this competition for 3 years in row now. Coach Smart is the only participant that his selected a local non-profit. So this is your chance to place a vote online and help the Richmond community. Here are the details on how to participate:

To cast a vote for Coach Smart and FRIENDS, simply go to or register at and click on the Infiniti Coaches Charity Challenge banner to vote. Votes can be made daily throughout the contest, so make sure you add this site to your bookmarks and hit it every morning!

[button color=”black” size=”big” link=”” target=”blank” ]VOTE NOW![/button]

Click here to learn more about FRIENDS

Matt has been reporting on VCU sports for Ram Nation since 2007 with a focus on news, photos, and feature stories.