Meaningful cause for Dayton Men’s Basketball’s first exhibition game

Clare Matthews | Sports Editor

Dayton Men’s Basketball will begin the 2023-2024 Season with an exhibition game against in-state rival, the Ohio State Buckeyes. The attention that this game is naturally getting isn’t solely focused on drumming up excitement for the upcoming season. Instead, the focus of this charity exhibition game is to raise awareness and shine a light on adolescent mental health and suicide prevention.

The game is to be played Sunday, Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. On Thursday, Oct. 19, a town hall called “The Spotlight To Shine A Light On Mental Health,” is being held at UD Arena to honor Jayda Grant, the daughter of UD head coach, Anthony Grant, and his wife, Chris Grant, whose death a year ago was attributed to mental health.

The evening is to begin with a mental health resource fair and player meet and greet that begins at 5 p.m. Presenters headlining the town hall will be Mark and Kym Hilinski, representing Hilinski’s Hope Foundation, which was created to honor their son Tyler Hilinski, who died in 2018. The foundation focuses on fighting for the mental health of student athletes.

Following the Hilinski’s presentation, there will be a panel moderated by Tony Coder, executive director of the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation (OSPF). The panel is to include:

  • Anthony and Chris Grant
  • Mark and Kym Hilinski, Hilinski’s Hope Foundation
  • Bruce Vanderhoff, M.D., MBA, director of Ohio Department of Health (ODH)
  • Dr. James Houle, clinical associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Ohio State
  • Dr. Wayne Chappelle, clinical-sports psychologist to collegiate and professional athletes, and TeamHealth Medical Consortium
  • Brandon Saho, host of the Mental Game Podcast 
  • Charlie Pope, survivor and mental health advocate, and Tiffany Pope, mental health advocate
  • Kelly Blankenship, associate chief medical officer, behavioral health at Dayton Children’s Hospital

The town hall is free and open to the public. There is no admission charge.

Visit Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation to learn more or support the organization.

Visit National Alliance on Mental Illness to learn more or support the organization.

Read more of Flyer News’ sports coverage here

Flyer News: Univ. of Dayton's Student Newspaper