Aftershocks utilize fundraiser to help offset the costs of TBT

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Khánh Nguyễn/ The Sunflower

The Aftershocks celebrate following their victory over Team Challenge ALS on July 20 inside Charles Koch Arena.

The Aftershocks have reached out to the Wichita State fan base in hopes of covering some of the costs while in Dayton, following the WSU alumni reaching the quarterfinals of The Basketball Tournament. 

Aftershocks general manager Ron Baker set up a GoFundMe last Monday to help offset the costs for this upcoming weekend. TBT provided the Aftershocks with travel for everyone on the team – except for two coaches – along with six hotel rooms. Baker said that the money raised would go towards the coaches’ travel expenses, seven extra hotel rooms, rental cars and meals. 

The fundraiser has raised $13,789 with 162 different donations. 

“It’s extremely helpful,” Baker said. “I think the players would’ve made some decent money just from the Wichita Regional but these are pros taking a week out of their offseason, pretty much two weeks before they report for their overseas gigs. So, Wichita aided in a way and took care of them. 

“It shows us that the community loves us and loves what we’re representing right now.”

The Aftershocks also landed sponsorships from local Wichita businesses, which Baker said will be another avenue to help offset that cost. 

“The local sponsors for different businesses in town have been very helpful,” Baker said. “These are people that work 8-5s and show us their love by giving us some funds to do what we love as basketball players. That shows the gratitude of the city. There’s a lot of really nice people when it comes to generosity in our community but also that’s what makes Wichita such a loving environment.”

For many of the players in TBT, these are the few months that they are back in the U.S. after playing a long season overseas. 

Baker said this money will also give them one less aspect to worry about while competing.

“Obviously when you’re playing in the TBT the only thing you should have to focus on is showing up and playing. It shouldn’t be ‘well, I’ve got to sacrifice money to be away from those who I love’ and that’s kind of in the back of your mind when you’re in Dayton the whole time. We don’t want that, we want it to be a fun environment.”

Baker said that he is thankful for all the donations they have received.

“It’s kind of an interesting situation,” Baker said. “Obviously, I’m very open-minded about donating right now because it’s 2021, a lot of people struggled throughout 2020 but I would just say thank you to everyone that has donated. We’ve been through a lot not only as a city but the country over the past 18 months and for people to give out however much money they’re able to is very gratifying to me.

“ It puts a lot of perspective in my mind because it shows me that Wichita’s a beautiful community, everybody loves the Shockers and giving what they’re comfortable with.”

The Aftershocks quarterfinals matchup with Florida TNT is slated for 11 a.m. on the campus of the University of Dayton. The game will also be broadcast on ESPN.