If Adia Barnes appeared ticked during the Storm broadcast on Thursday, call her ticked for charity. Barnes, an assistant coach at Washington, was part of a social media wave where women’s basketball programs have been calling each other out to get cold water dumped on them in a fun way to donate to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
The small glitch for Barnes? She just straighten her long, curly locks. You know you don’t mess with a sistah’s hair. UW G Kelsey Plum said Barnes was upset, then pushed her coach back in the water to be sure Barnes was fully drenched.
Of course it being for charity was more important. The idea was started by Arizona coach Niya Butts. NCAA women’s basketball teams annually play in a charity game for the Kay Yow foundation, wearing pink jerseys. Butts decided to have a little summer fun by blending the fundraising with chilled water.
She had her team doused with buckets of ice water this week and then called out others across the Pac-12 conference to do the same. Those called out have 48 hours to accept the challenge then pay a sliding scale of donations to the fund using the hashtag #Chillin4Charity. Players perform community service.
All in turn call others out to do the “cold water challenge,” too.
Barnes got the WNBA involved, calling out Storm coach Brian Agler, associate head coach Jenny Boucek and assistant coach Shaq Williams via Twitter.
If any videos are posted, Butts said she’ll pay an extra $50 each to the charity. And if a challenge isn’t accepted, that person has to pay more — $250 for head coaches. Players have to complete five hours of community service.
While buckets of ice water is the trend, UW coach Mike Neighbors had his team jump in Lake Washington. Temperatures reached the high-70s on Thursday, but any native can verify Lake Washington doesn’t warm up unless there’s at least two weeks of 90-degree weather. That rarely happens, so swimmers still wear wetsuits in August.
Assistant coaches Kevin Morrison and Fred Castro, in-coming freshman Hannah Johnson and F Talia Walton joined Neighbors, Barnes and Plum in the quick dip. G Jazmine Davis was called out but is vacationing in Tahiti and couldn’t participate.
“It was definitely cold,” said Plum, who showed up at KeyArena on Thursday with her hair still wet. She has a cool gig in interning with Barnes at Storm games as the latter provides WNBA analysis.
“But it was fun,” Plum continued. “I was trying to push Morrison back in, but he’s large.”
Butts may be broke by next season because a quick YouTube search Friday morning showed three pages of videos. Among them is Brian Holsinger, who was recently promoted to associate head coach at Washington State. He jumped into the 40-degree Snake River. Now that’s charity.
Here’s Washington’s video:
And Holsinger’s heroic plunge:
Former Washington coach Kevin McGuff is the one who called out Neighbors. McGuff left UW to accept a similar position at Ohio State. Here’s his cold-water bath: