ND basketball coaches go barefoot for charity

DAVE KOLPACK Associated Press Published:

FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- A former North Dakota college student who started a charity to provide shoes for poor children has returned to watch two basketball coaches work barefoot.

Emmanuel "Manny" Ohonme (oh-HAWN'-me) is a native of Nigeria who came to the United States on a basketball scholarship at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake.

Ohonme is the founder of Samaritan's Feet, which has helped 5 million children in 65 countries obtain shoes. Thousands of basketball coaches at all levels have promoted the cause by managing games without shoes.

North Dakota State's Saul Phillips and North Dakota's Brian Jones will ditch their shoes this weekend when they coach the rivalry game in Fargo.

Ohonme says it's exciting to return to a place he and his wife, a Devils Lake native, know as home.