MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- When the Blue Raiders men’s basketball team steps on the court Tuesday at Murphy Center, they will be wearing special Blackout Game jerseys to affirm their devotion to the university's True Blue values.
Head coach Kermit Davis said the players decided to replace their names on the special uniforms for Tuesday’s contest against Belmont University with the words “True Blue.”
“At the beginning of the season, we talked about the values that we represent as a team and as a university,” Davis said. “The True Blue Pledge starts with the words, ‘I am True Blue.’ “When we began planning for Tuesday’s game, we felt these special jerseys could reflect how each one of us are striving to be True Blue on and off the court.”
The True Blue Pledge, which each freshman class recites as the beginning of the school year as part of convocation exercises, reflect the university’s values of honesty and integrity, respect for diversity, engagement in the community and commitment to reason, not violence.
The initiative was launched a few months after the March 2011 death of Lady Raider basketball player Tina Stewart, who was murdered by Shanterrica Madden, a fellow MTSU student, at their shared off-campus apartment.
President Sidney A. McPhee said he was pleased that the team chose to honor the True Blue Pledge on the special uniforms.
“I know that Coach Davis and our team strives to bring meaning to these words with their work in the classroom and on the court,” McPhee said.
McPhee cited the team’s volunteer community service, particularly with area schools, as another demonstration of True Blue spirit.
“When we say ‘I am True Blue,’ we are telling the world we are part of a larger Blue Raider community that values learning, growth and service,” he said.
Tipoff for the game is set for 7 p.m.
To find out more about the True Blue Pledge, visit www.mtsu.edu.
-- Marie Kemph, firstname.lastname@example.org