The University of New Mexico men’s basketball team received a $25,000 gift that has already more than doubled in just a few days.
New Mexico fan Brook Watson said he wanted to figure out a way to help the university in a significant way. After seeing what nationally recognized programs were doing, Watson decided to establish the Lobo for Life Men’s Basketball Endowment.
Unlike the 6th Man Club, the money donated is not for immediate use. The money from the endowment will be invested and the profits will go to team.
“With this endowment I really wanted to take a step back and look long term,” he said. “Really focus on how you break this mold of constantly fundraising and trying to fill a gap. The only way you do that is with long term thinking and investment.”
Another donor matched the initial donation 24 hours later. Since then more contributions have come in.
Watson had tickets on and off for about 10 years, but said that about six years ago he decided to get season tickets and discovered he had to join the Lobo Club as well as make a donation to get better seats. What started as something he had to do for better tickets turned into learning more about the UNM Athletics budget, which sparked his desire to help.
“I was oblivious like the general fan, thinking the state or the university gives them a budget and that’s the end of it. I didn’t realize there was so much that goes into it,” he explained. “The Lobo Club basically covering 100% of the scholarship athletes are trying to cover as much of that as possible. I didn’t realize the 6th Man Club and those donations are such a vital component of coach Weir’s budget.”
His hope is to help develop an environment that will give players everything they need to compete and succeed. If the players feel support from their school, he said, maybe those who do well after college will eventually pay it forward and donate to the university to continue supporting future Lobos.
Watson played basketball in high school but traded his high tops for golf spikes a long time ago. Even so, his love for the sport continues and he hopes that better resources will help New Mexico become more competitive in the future. While he already contributed a significant amount, Watson said he is asking his friends and family that instead of spending money on birthday or Christmas presents for him, they donate that money to the school.
“No donation is too small. We can have one donor give $1 million dollars to get to that million dollar mark, or we could have a million donors give a dollar. It doesn’t matter as long as people are giving,” he said. “Every little bit helps. This is not just trying to patch this year’s budget. That $100 that you could put in, or $20, or $1,000, whatever it is, it grows.”
For the official UNM press release click here.