Published Thursday, January 19, 2012 AT 10:41 PM / Updated at 10:51 PM
Jersey auction to benefit cancer research is big success
Steven Pivovar Omaha World-Herald

Creighton’s pink jersey auction has turned a nice shade of green.

The school recently wrapped up its auction of the pink jerseys and shooting shirts that the Bluejays will wear in the Jan. 28 home game against Bradley. The game is part of the annual Creighton vs. Cancer promotion to raise cancer research awareness.

The auction raised more than $20,600. Fans had a chance to bid on the pink jersey-shooting shirt for each player, with number 00 receiving the high bid of $3,275. The number 3 combination drew a bid of almost $3,000, and five other jerseys went for more than $1,000.

“I couldn’t be more pleased,’’ Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “We threw this thing together five or six weeks ago with the assistance of Nike and some other folks. It wasn’t like we had a year to plan it, and we kind of did it on the fly.’’

Nike, which outfits Creigthton’s sports team, designed the special-edition pink jerseys and shooting shirts. McDermott said Creighton boosters Ren Smith and Rod Kestel were among the individuals that were instrumental in working behind the scenes to make the auction a success.

Fans attending the game will be asked to wear pink, and the first 12,000 will receive pink T-shirts.

McDermott said fans will be asked for donations at the game. All the money donated will go to Omaha-area cancer research programs.

“If everyone at the game throws in a couple of bucks,’’ McDermott said, “we can double our money.’’

The double-zero jersey will be worn by Creighton center Gregory Echenique, who wears pink shoes that the Bluejays debuted at last year’s cancer awareness game. He expressed surprise that his jersey number attracted the largest bid.

“I don’t know how that happened,’’ Echenique said. “That’s cool, and I’m happy that I could help.’’

Echenique said he checked out the auction in its early stages and saw that his number was going for $225. He decided to check again Tuesday, the final day of the auction, and was shocked to see that the bid for the jersey was approaching $3,000.

Echenique was asked if he was the person that made the winning bid.

“No, no,’’ he said, laughing. “When it was at $225, I thought about it. But when it got that high, it was out of my reach.’’

About Steven Pivovar

Steven Pivovar is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and primarily covers Creighton athletics and the College World Series. You can follow Steven on Twitter (@PivOWH) or email him at spivovar@owh.com.