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Pies to the face for the Rice men’s tennis team

By Naoki Shiba     9/6/14 12:21pm

The Rice University men’s tennis team participated in the Whipping Childhood Cancer Challenge after their four year old honorary captain, Bennett Nester, nominated them last Monday. According to the Rice Owls tennis website, the team took in Bennett as their honorary captain last spring through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.

“[The foundation’s] mission is to improve the quality of life for children and their families who are battling pediatric brain tumors by pairing them with college and high school athletic teams,” the Rice Owls tennis website stated.

Similar to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the Whipping Childhood Cancer initiative requires that someone throw a pie in the face of another, ultimately for the purpose of raising awareness about pediatric brain cancer. KHOU News recorded Bennett and his family as they completed the challenge and nominated the Rice men’s tennis team. Jamie Malik, a Rice tennis team member,  said the team was enthusiastic about accepting the challenge and saw it as a chance to help spread awareness.

We were pleased to be nominated for the challenge by Bennett, because the challenge was for a very worthy cause,” Malik, a Hanszen College freshman, said. “He’s such an inspiration to everyone – he is so optimistic about life even though he does have cancer.”

The team uploaded the video of them completing the challenge on Youtube, showing them as they line up and pie themselves in the face. Malik said that, overall, he enjoyed the challenge and felt that it was another opportunity for the team to bond.

“It was a great experience doing the challenge and it was a fun time doing it with all the team as [afterwards] it turned into a cream fight,” Malik said.

The Rice Owls tennis team website says that the team will continue to support Bennett, who had an operation this Thursday, and they will be including him in many different activities with the team throughout the year.

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