Join T.J. Ford and Other Longhorns for a Night of Bowling for ABBA Fund had a chance to catch up with the 2003 National Player of the Year in college basketball prior to the Longhorns season opener on Saturday and talked about the fundraise.

Q: Last year you hosted a bowling fundraiser down in Houston that proved to be quite a success. This coming Friday (Sept. 10), you are hosting a similar bowling fundraiser in Austin. Why did you decide to change the location and give us some information on the logistics?

A: We decided to change the approach and plan the date and site around UT’s first home football game. I know a lot of former basketball players like to come back to Austin for the first home football game before NBA preseason camps get underway, so we decided to move the bowling event to Austin and hold it the night before the football game. This year’s event is called “Strikes to Unite” and it will take place at Highland Bowling Center (8909 Burnet Road) on Friday night (Sept. 10) from 6-9 p.m. I’m really looking forward to hosting it and seeing some familiar faces back in Austin.

(Note to interested public: Limited spots for the general public remain to this event, and tickets are priced at $1,100 per lane or $300 for individual bowlers. There will be four players per lane and one celebrity bowler per two lanes. For ticket purchasing and additional information on the “Strikes to Unite” event, please contact Nick Barnes via email at

Q: What charity will this event benefit and why is this organization and cause important to you?

A: We will give 100 percent of the proceeds from this fundraiser to the ABBA Fund. A lot of families, for different reasons, want the ability to adopt kids. But many of these families don’t have the startup money to go through all the screening process that is involved. That’s what the ABBA Fund is set up to do … helping those interested families get through the initial costs. At the end of the day, we’re trying to help families adopt kids and put them in good homes. At the same time, you are allowing kids to live a better life and be put in better situations.

Q: Who will be joining you as a celebrity bowler at this fundraiser?

A: We should have former UT Basketball players Royal Ivey (Oklahoma City Thunder), Dexter Pittman (Miami Heat), Terrence Rencher and Reggie Freeman. We’re also scheduled to have former Texas Football players Eric Metcalf, Roosevelt Leaks, Kenneth Sims and Donnie Little and former UT swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Aaron Piersol. We have a wide variety of athletes coming back to help out.

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