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Former IU basketball coach Dan Dakich is doing his daily sports-talk radio show barefoot through January 17 to draw awareness to Samaritan’s Feet (www.samaritansfeet.org), an organization dedicated to providing shoes to kids in the third world. As part of the effort, IUPUI basketball coach Ron Hunter will coach barefoot during the Jaguars’ Jan. 17 game. Hunter and Dakich, who has a show from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on WFNI-AM 1070, are trying to get more than 500 basketball coaches at all levels to coach barefoot on that day.
Hunter began his work for Samaritan’s Feet last year, coaching his first game barefooted. Last summer, Hunter packed up boxes containing 3,000 pairs of shoes and headed for Peru. He pulled three of his players out of summer workouts and himself and his assistant coaches off the recruiting trail to serve the poorest of the poor. For 12 days, they washed kids’ feet. They gave them shoes. They prayed with Peruvian children with few opportunities for advancement and even less reason to have any hope.
“I took my players completely out of their comfort zone, to places they didn’t know, to do things they didn’t understand and they were incredible,” Hunter said. “I wish every coach in America could experience this with his players. I know there are coaches who win national championships, who go to Final Fours. If you told me I had to exchange this experience with my players for a Final Four, I’d say keep your Final Four. This will stay with me far longer.”