Hoop for Lupus awareness at Tift County - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Hoop for Lupus awareness at Tift County

Survivors were given commemorative basketballs (Source: WALB) Survivors were given commemorative basketballs (Source: WALB)
Pat McKinnon (Source: WALB) Pat McKinnon (Source: WALB)
Eric Holland (Source: WALB) Eric Holland (Source: WALB)
Micah Johnson (Source: WALB) Micah Johnson (Source: WALB)
Mary Scarbrough (Source: WALB) Mary Scarbrough (Source: WALB)
TIFTON, GA (WALB) -

It's no wardrobe malfunction.

Tift County fans and players alike sported purple shirts at the home doubleheader against Lowndes, instead of the typical Blue. 

It was an effort to support awareness for what they call a cruel mystery of a disease. 

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects 1.5 million people. Survivor Pat McKinnon organized the hoop for Lupus through United Way. She's lived with Lupus since 2013. 

"In order to fight this disease we all must be a part of the puzzle," said McKinnon. "So Tift county we put our blue down tonight and put on the purple."

The sea of purple was a blanket of support for the 20 survivors in attendance who were celebrated at halftime and gifted commemorative basketballs. 

"I've always either been sick or not able to come," said Mary Scarbrough who was diagnosed with Lupus in 1995. "To come here tonight with pat and everybody wearing purple and supporting us lupus survivors it means a lot. "

The cause runs deep for for the Blue Devils. Guard Micah Johnson's mother was recently diagnosed with Lupus, and head coach Eric Holland knew the community support could help ease the pain. 

"We in it for them, we in with them, we praying for them," said Holland. "And we just want to bring people together. The beautiful thing about basketball is you can use those 32 minutes to bring people together and have a really good time for a really good cause." 

Fans in attendance walked away with free shirts, a great basketball experience and information on Lupus.

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