Ohio State to Play Preseason Charity Exhibition Game at Dayton

By Dan Hope on June 29, 2023 at 1:00 pm
Anthony Grant
Lee Luther Jr. – USA TODAY Sports

Before Ohio State officially begins its men’s basketball season in November, the Buckeyes will play an exhibition game against one of Ohio’s other top teams.

Dayton announced Thursday that it will host Ohio State in a charity exhibition game on Oct. 22 as part of a multi-day community engagement event promoting mental health and suicide prevention. The teams have received an NCAA waiver allowing them to play the exhibition game.

The game will be played at UD Arena at a time to be announced later. Tickets will be offered as part of Dayton’s season-ticket package, with single-game tickets to be sold as available.

All proceeds from the game will benefit the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation and the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio. Leading up to the exhibition, Dayton will host a town-hall event on Oct. 19 and 20 focused on “helping individuals and families navigate finding the right mental health care for themselves and their loved ones,” which will be free and open to the public.

Mental health is a cause that hits close to home for Dayton coach Anthony Grant, whose daughter Jayda died last year at the age of 20 after battling mental illness.

“First, I want to express my deepest thanks and appreciation to Coach Holtmann, Athletic Director Gene Smith and the Ohio State community for participating in this special event,” Grant said in a statement. “They have been incredibly gracious partners and we’re thankful for their participation. More importantly, this game is a collaborative effort to help raise awareness, generate conversation and increase access to mental health services in Ohio and throughout the country.”

Chris Holtmann said in a statement that “Anthony’s willingness to share his family’s story in hopes of helping others is inspirational and we appreciate him including Ohio State in this event.”

“We look forward to partnering with Anthony and Dayton on this exhibition game at UD Arena,” Holtmann said. “We are excited that the proceeds will benefit the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation and other local organizations.”

It will mark the first on-court meeting between the Buckeyes and Flyers since their dramatic meeting in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, when Dayton’s Vee Sanford hit a game-winning layup with 3.8 seconds remaining to lead the 11th-seeded Flyers to a 60-59 upset victory over the sixth-seeded Buckeyes.

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