Prep Zone

Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Basketball coaches to be barefooted for Pebblebrook-South Cobb game

The basketball coaches at Pebblebrook and South Cobb will be barefooted on the benches and sidelines Friday night for their boys and girls games.

‘’No socks, no sandals, both teams have agreed,’’ Pebblebrook coach George Washington said.

It’s for charity and a non-profit group called Samaritan’s Feet, which has provided more than 4 million shoes to impoverished children since 2003.

Fans are encouraged to donate $1 and to wear mismatched shoes at the game to bring attention to Samaritan’s Feet and to those who don’t have shoes.

During the NCAA Final Four last year at the Georgia Dome, Washington got the opportunity to volunteer with Samaritan’s Feet. He washed feet and gave out shoes and socks.

‘’I saw very long lines at every stop of children and adults needing shoes,’’ Washington said. “It was very eye opening that kids in Atlanta don’t have shoes. To see the smiles on their faces when we fitted them for shoes, it was something that sticks to me this day.’’

Samaritan’s Feet estimates that more than 3,000 coaches from recreational leagues to colleges have coached games or made public appearances in bare feet to raise awareness for the organization’s mission over the past 10 years. So Washington decided to hold a barefoot game at his school.

Washington said he hasn’t practiced coaching in bare feet, but thinks he’ll be able to adapt.

‘’I just don’t want the floor to be cold,’’ Washington said. “I have already requested heat for that night and talked to the custodial staff about mopping my side of the floor. I don’t know if we will mop the South Cobb coaches’ side. Just kidding.’’

Tipoff for the girls game is 6 p.m. at Pebblebrook.

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