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    Nov. 18, 2010

    CHICAGO - The UIC athletic department will work in conjunction with the University of Illinois Medical Center and the Walter Payton Liver Center to honor the late Walter Payton and his family on Dec. 2, when the Flames men's basketball team hosts Valparaiso at the UIC Pavilion.

    At the Valpo game, $4 from every ticket purchased will go toward finding a cure for Liver cancer at the Walter Payton Liver Center. Commemorative Walter Payton headbands will be sold for $5, beginning at next Wednesday's (Nov. 24) home game against Central Michigan. They will also be available on the concourse of the UIC Pavilion the day of the Valparaiso game. All proceeds from the sale of the headbands will directly benefit the Walter Payton Liver Center.

    On Tuesday, head men's basketball coach Howard Moore and Connie Payton, Walter Payton's widow, made a short presentation to the employees at the medical center and liver center to promote the event. Walter's son Jarrett and his wife Trisha were also on hand for the event, as well as University of Illinois Medical Center CEO John DeNardo.

    "Sparky," UIC's official mascot, as well as senior men's basketball players Paul Carter and Jimmy Harding were all in attendance. Along with learning more about the event and the opportunity to meet and greet UIC's players and coaches, University of Illinois Medical Center employees and staff were also provided the opportunity to purchase tickets to the game against Valparaiso.

    "This effort is for a great cause, and we are extremely proud to be associated with the Payton family and the University of Illinois Medical Center for this event," said Moore.

    "Walter Payton was one of my childhood heroes growing up, and he is on my `Mount Rushmore' of all-time favorite athletes. Walter's wife Connie and his family is a great group of people, and they have done a tremendous job continuing to raise awareness for a very difficult disease. We are looking forward to honoring them on December 2."

     

     

    Moore and Connie Payton shot a commercial that will premiere on UICFlames.com, while also airing on the video board at the UIC Pavilion leading up to the Dec. 2 game, the Horizon League opener for both the Flames and Valparaiso. The spot will also air on RCN Cable the week leading up to the game, beginning on Nov. 29.

    The Payton family will "Light the Flame" at the UIC Pavilion prior to the game and Connie Payton will make a halftime presentation. Every member of UIC's athletic staff, as well as the game-day staff, will be wearing the commemorative headbands to promote the great cause.

    To purchase individual game tickets, call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, or visit ticketmaster.com. Fans wishing to purchase a season ticket plan, flex plan or to learn more about youth basketball opportunities at Flames games are encouraged to contact a UIC ticket representative by calling 312-413-UIC1 (8421).