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Wisconsin basketball: UW students set record while Making Bo Pay

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Bo Ryan's annual Shooting Down Cancer event on Monday was nothing but net, raising nearly $700,000.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Wisconsin Badgers basketball team held the annual Shooting Down Cancer event at the Kohl Center, captured by the slogan #MakeBoPay.

And for the fourth consecutive season, the UW student body came out in full force and #MadeBoPay.

The event, hosted by Badgers head coach Bo Ryan and his wife Kelly, raised a record $694,117 to be donated to the American Cancer society. Ryan donated $60,147, with the remainder of the grand total coming from matching donations.

"What can I say? I'm numb," Ryan said of the turnout in a press release. "It's unbelievable how people stepped up and put these kind of numbers out there toward research and beating this doggone disease. I'd like to say speechless, but no one from my hometown has ever been speechless."

Shooting Down Cancer has become an annual staple in Madison. It is open to all UW students and $1 is donated by the Ryans for every student that comes. They then have the opportunity to make them pay $10 for every made free throw and $1,000 for every made half-court shot.

This season, 41 students made half-court shots, including forward Vitto Brown and guard Riley Dearring in addition to Nicole Bauman of the women's basketball team.

The four-year total of money raised at the event has now surpassed $1 million.

Here's the full press release from the Wisconsin athletic department:

Fourth-annual #MakeBoPay raises record $694,117
Shooting Down Cancer smashing success with help of UW-Madison students, matching donations

Oct. 12, 2015


MADISON, Wis. - It was another record-setting day at the fourth-annual Shooting Down Cancer event hosted by Wisconsin men's basketball coach Bo Ryan and his wife, Kelly, at the Kohl Center on Monday.

The fundraising celebration has grown in student participation and, more importantly, money raised every year. This year the UW-Madison student body helped raise Ryan's donation to the American Cancer Society to $60,147. Combined with matching donations, the 2015 grand total was $694,117.

"What can I say? I'm numb," Ryan said of the turnout and support. "It's unbelievable how people stepped up and put these kind of numbers out there toward research and beating this doggone disease. I'd like to say I'm speechless, but no one from my hometown has ever been speechless.

"It's phenomenal the support and how people have rallied around this. Just from a simple idea of having students interact with the players, and instead of a midnight madness we do this for the fight against cancer."

Generous matching donations came from:

- Nancy & Ab Nicholas

- Mary Sue & Mike Shannon

- Mara & Ricky Sandler

- Pam and George Hamel

- Bev and Wade Fetzer

- Steve Bennett

- Phill & Liz Gross

- Pete Frechette

- John Holton

- Ted Kellner

- Peter Leidel

- Dan & Patti Rashke (TASC) Family Foundation

- John Wakeman

In four years, Shooting Down Cancer has now raised a total of $1,078,301.

The premise of the charity event is simple: UW-Madison students come to the Kohl Center and take a shot at Ryan's wallet. For starters, Bo and Kelly Ryan donate $1 to Coaches vs. Cancer/the American Cancer Society for every UW-Madison student that simply walked into the Kohl Center. Students are then given an opportunity to knock down some shots to increase the donation. For a made free throw, $10 is donated and for every half-court shot another $1,000 is donated.

Students also had the opportunity to meet Coach Ryan and the team, enjoy free food and beverages, prizes, giveaways and more.

Students hit a combined 41 half-court shots on Monday. Among those cashing in from midcourt were Riley Dearring and Vitto Brown of the men's basketball team and Nicole Bauman from the women's hoops team.

"We're blown away," Ryan added. "But, what we're hoping is that the money goes and gets something done in the fight against cancer."