Auburn’s Pearl all-in on VanDerveer’s Ukraine challenge

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said he fully supports Stanford women’s coach Tara VanDerveer’s initiative to help those in need in Ukraine.

VanDerveer had pledged $10 for every 3-pointer made in the women’s NCAA Tournament toward humanitarian efforts for those affected by Russia’s invasion.

“If Tara VanDerveer wants money for 3-pointers, I’ll up whatever they’re offering,” Pearl said Saturday.

VanDerveer challenged other coaches to make similar commitments. Georgia Tech coach Nell Fortner was among those who joined VanDerveer’s efforts to raise money.

Pearl and the Tigers will face Miami on Sunday night in a second-round game in the Midwest Region.

“I’m all in,” Pearl said. “Help the Ukrainian people survive that.”

South Carolina women’s coach Dawn Staley was also asked Saturday about accepting VanDerveer’s challenge.

Staley supported it, but then asked if VanDerveer, her Olympic coach in 1996, would pledge money for each tournament rebound to help inner-city communities in places like Columbia, South Carolina, or Staley’s hometown of Philadelphia.

“There’s a lot of homelessness here,” Staley said. “There’s a lot of homelessness here. It’s prevalent in our state here in South Carolina. So we can get two challenges going, both to help afar and nearby.”

There were 230 3-pointers made on the first day of the women’s NCAA Tournament.

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