Joseph Tippins poses with Athletic Director Lindsay Reeves and men's head basketball coach Chris Faulkner after signing a one-day contract to play as a UNG Nighthawks basketball player. (click for larger version)
March 12, 2014
CUMMING, Ga. — At a University of North Georgia basketball game Feb. 27, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and UNG made 11-year-old cancer survivor Joseph Tippins' wish come true with an all-expenses-paid trip to Maui, Hawaii.
Tippins, who was diagnosed at 9 years old with a form of cancer known as Burkitt's lymphoma, spent the evening leading up to the game in VIP style, first being treated to a police escort from his hotel to UNG's Dahlonega campus.
Upon arriving, Tippins and his family joined Athletic Director Lindsay Reeves and men's basketball head coach Chris Faulkner in a mock press conference, where he signed a one-day contract to play for the UNG Nighthawks and was questioned by sports reporters.
Before the men's basketball game began, team captain Travis Core revealed that Tippins and his family would be leaving for Hawaii on April 5.
"The Make-A-Wish reveal was a culmination of a collective effort that began with our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and spread throughout the university and the Dahlonega community," said Reeves. "It was so rewarding to see the joy that Joseph experienced during his induction into the Nighthawk family."
Among all NCAA Division II schools, UNG has donated the highest amount of money to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in two of the past three academic years.