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Saban, others join West Virginia opioid prevention effort

May 24, 2021 GMT

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) — Alabama coach Nick Saban is set to join current and former athletes and coaches from West Virginia and Marshall universities this week as part of an effort to fight the opioid epidemic.

They’re coming together at the Greenbrier Resort for a group called West Virginia Game Changer. It’s a community initiative designed to educate and support youth to make healthy choices.

Saban and his wife, Terry, both West Virginia natives, will serve as hosts for the event, starting with a reception and dinner on Wednesday, the group said in a news release.

On Thursday, there will be a golf tournament on the Old White Course along with a luncheon featuring prevention specialists and educators who will detail the group’s plan to address opioid misuse. Proceeds from the two-day event will be used toward prevention programs being implemented in West Virginia schools.

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The list of participants signed up is lengthy. It includes former WVU football coach Rich Rodriguez and current coach Neal Brown, and basketball coach Bob Huggins, along with ex-Marshall coach Bob Pruett and current coach Charles Huff and Thundering Herd basketball coach Dan D’Antoni. Gov. Jim Justice and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin also are scheduled to attend.

West Virginia Game Changer was founded in 2019 by Morgantown businessman Joe Boczek, Secondary School Activities Commission Executive Director Bernie Dolan and MVB Bank Executive and Chief Financial Officer Don Robinson.