A friendly game of "horse" between two of the best guards in Gophers basketball history became the perfect way to raise awareness for a great cause this week.
Minnesota Lynx guard Rachel Banham and Andre Hollins combined for more than 600 three-pointers at the University of Minnesota during their career. And on Tuesday, they were launching shots from distance for Minnesota's nonprofit organization of Be the Match, the global leader in bone marrow transplants.
On Cinco de Mayo, Banham edged out Hollins in their horse game with a one-legged jumper from beyond the arc.
You can bet there will be a couple’s rematch soon.
Banham, the all-time leading scorer in Gophers women’s hoops history, never met a shot she didn’t like during her illustrious career, which included tying the NCAA single-game record with 60 points in 2016.
Hollins, who ranks fifth on the career points list for the U men, was no stranger to big scoring games as well, including a 41-point game in the Bahamas in 2012.
The same year Hollins scored the most points in a Gopher men’s game since 1971, Hollins signed up eight years ago to be a blood donor for Be the Match during the U’s annual HopeDay event for athletes on campus. The organization found a genetic match for Hollins last summer, so he returned to Minneapolis.
The 27-year-old Memphis native had his stem cell retrieved in December, a couple days after his alma mater upset then-No. 3 Ohio State at the Barn. He’s now on the board of ambassadors for Be the Match.
Patients receiving bone marrow transplants from donors will be able to better fight off blood cancers such as sickle cell and leukemia. Be The Match is working hard during the COVID-19 global pandemic to make it safe for donors to give blood and bone marrow.
“It’s always good to be a blessing to someone and give back,” Hollins said earlier. “[Be the Match] makes sure you have all the information. They take care of the flights and travel and get you to where you are going. They make it really easy for the donor.”
Hollins last played a full basketball season in the Hungarian League in 2017-18. He has been living in the Twin Cities since recovering from an Achilles injury and taking a break from playing overseas.
Banham, who played for the Connecticut Sun in the WNBA from 2016-19, returned to her home state in February after the Lynx acquired her with a sign-and-trade deal for a 2021 second-round pick.
Gophers fans surely are looking forward to the rematch. Who do you think will win next time?