Blazers will wear names of ill children on jerseys for Homecoming

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- When UAB hosts Louisiana Tech on Oct. 7, players will forgo wearing their names on the back of their jerseys in favor of patients at a local children's hospital.

The move is meant to honor the children and their families served by Children's Harbor.

Children's Harbor, which is located one block from UAB's campus in downtown Birmingham, helps seriously ill patients and their families during and after hospitalization. It was adopted by the football team as one of their community charities last year.

During the game, which coincides with UAB's Homecoming, a section of Legion Field will be filled with Children's Harbor families. One hundred game jerseys will be given to patients and their families after the game.

"Children's Harbor has absolutely become a part of the Blazer family," said UAB coach Bill Clark in a news release. "I intend for this relationship to grow with our program. As we build, there will be even more we can do to provide encouragement and a positive distraction to support the terrific work Children's Harbor does."

Said Children's Harbor CEO Myrle Grate: "The joy and enthusiasm that Coach Clark and the UAB players bring to the Children's Harbor families is palpable and brings a level of healing that is truly beyond our ability alone."

This season, thousands of Iowa fans have taken part in a new tradition of their own to honor and support patients at a local children's hospital.

At the end of the first quarter of every Iowa home game, fans in Kinnick Stadium turn to nearby University of Iowa Children's Hospital and wave to the children and their families watching from the first floor.