The ninth annual Docs for Morgan basketball fundraiser will have a new look and format this year, as it moves from a live contest to a virtual one that is COVID safe and still honors Morgan Harrington, the event’s namesake.
The game will be shown Thursday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. on Zoom.
The annual event supports a memorial scholarship fund in Harrington’s name at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.
Harrington died of homicidal violence on Oct. 17, 2009. A forensic connection was later made to Jesse L. Matthew, Jr., the prime suspect in the murder of Hannah Graham, a UVA student who is believed to have been abducted on Sept.13, 2014. On Sept. 15, 2015, Matthew was formally charged with first-degree murder and abduction with intent to defile in Harrington’s murder. On March 2, 2016, Matthew pled guilty to the abduction and murder of both Graham and Harrington, receiving four consecutive life sentences with no possibility of parole.
During Docs for Morgan: Virtual Hoops, medical students will try to defend their title against a team of Carilion Clinic residents. The PlayStation NBA game, which resembles an actual televised NBA event, was pre-recorded with socially distanced students and residents at the controls. The game has been customized with the names of the actual players who are sporting Virginia Tech gear.
A host will guide viewers through the 20-minute game during which viewers will have a chance to root for their favorite team and try to earn prizes by answering live trivia questions about the medical school and the history of the Docs for Morgan game and scholarship. Donations before, during, and after the game will be accepted.
“While we certainly understand this is a very trying time across the United States and around the world, we also thought it could benefit many of us to take a few minutes to relax and enjoy a new version of our event,” said Tracey Criss, a psychiatrist and associate dean for clinical science years 3 and 4 at the medical school and the organizer of the event. “The goal of Docs for Morgan is to honor Morgan’s life and legacy, and that will always remain a constant.”
Morgan Harrington was a Virginia Tech student who had a bright future ahead of her as a teacher. She was an intern at the medical school the summer before her death and is remembered fondly for her kindness and can-do spirit.
Docs for Morgan was formed in 2012 by Carilion Medical Center physicians who wanted to honor Morgan and support her parents, Dan and Gil Harrington. Dan Harrington is vice-dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.