UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State will honor the life of Brandon Ream when the Nittany Lion Men’s Basketball team takes on Wisconsin on Sunday, March 2 at the Bryce Jordan Center. The first of its kind, the game has been declared “Team Ream Day.” Tipoff is at noon.
Ream, a Centre County native and former Penn State football player, passed away in November after a long battle with cancer.
Friends of the Ream family have agreed to match, dollar for dollar, all funds raised for the event up to $30,000. The Team Ream game will include a pregame autograph session featuring Penn State athletes and other athletes from various action sports. Shawn Johnson, Olympic Gold Medalist and Dancing with the Stars Champion, are among the athletes scheduled to appear, according to a press release by the Team Ream Foundation.
Johnson, who was a close friend of Ream’s, said she is looking forward to being a part of Team Ream Day and bringing the community together.
“(It’s going to be a) humbling experience in honor of Brandon,” she said. “It’s going to be a beautiful event.”
Johnson, the 2007 individual all-around World Champion and 2007 World Champion on floor exercise, said Ream’s athleticism and resilient attitude are important legacies to be passed on.
“Knowing Brandon, he had a way of touching a lot of people’s lives,” she said. “Everyone connected with the athlete he was.”
It is Johnson’s hope, she said, that people can learn from Ream and his life passions.
“He had such purpose to give back to kids … he was a great role model for so many people,” she said.
The game will also include a memorial presentation at halftime and a post-game bike demo featuring 10 Action Sports Stars. Pure Cane Sugar and Jason McIntyre will sing the National Anthem.
"It is a great honor for us, as it would have been for Brandon, to cheer on Penn State Basketball while giving back to the people of Centre County and surrounding areas,” Samantha Ream said in a press release by the Team Ream Foundation. “All of us at Team Ream are aware of the financial struggles people face when overcoming adversity. This is an overwhelming and difficult time for the patient and their families - and reaching out and offering help is what we are called to do. We are One; One Team; One Community; One Family."
Ream was born in State College on Jan. 23, 1984. A lifelong resident of Happy Valley and a Penn State Graduate, he loved Central Pennsylvania and could never imagine calling anywhere else home, according to the Team Ream Foundation.
As a child and teen Ream was a standout football and basketball player. Through competition, he developed an unbreakable attitude for success and a dedication to team spirit. He continued his athletic career by playing football at Penn State University where he met his wife, Samantha, a Penn State volleyball player.
After graduation, Ream channeled his passion for success into his family’s business, Camp Woodward, an action sports and gymnastics camp. He worked his way up to become vice president of operations and guided the camp through both national and worldwide expansions, according to the Team Ream Foundation.
In November 2011, Ream was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Upon learning the diagnosis, he drew upon his competitive drive and immediately entered “Battle Mode.” He, along with his family and friends, confronted the crisis head on with a positive attitude and a gracious spirit. Through his life and his journey with cancer, Ream recognized the value and the importance of a solid support system, the love of family and friends and the availability of quality resources, the foundation states.
The Team Ream Foundation is a not-for-profit organization established to preserve the memory, to grow the legacy, and to carry on the fight, the will and determination of Brandon Ream for future generations. Its mission is to assist financially disadvantaged families in State College and surrounding areas who have been affected by serious medical conditions. All monies raised by the Team Ream Foundation will stay in Centre County, according to the Team Ream Foundation.
For more information or to donate, visit www.teamream.org.
IF YOU GO
What: Penn State vs. Wisconsin, “Team Ream Day” — friends of the Ream family have agreed to match, dollar for dollar, all funds raised for the event up to $30,000.
Who: Olympic gold medalist and “Dancing with the Stars” champion Shawn Johnson is scheduled to appear for an autograph session.
Where: Bryce Jordan Center