This Friday, July 12th, the Garrett Uekman Foundation will host the second annual 7-on-7 football tournament in Garrett Uekman’s honor. The tournament will take place at War Memorial Stadium and will be a two day event (July 12th and 13th) starting at 8am both days. High school teams take the field Saturday; Fifth-eighth grade teams play Friday. The event is open to the public and tickets, available at the gate, are $5 each.
High school teams competing this year:
- Defending tournament champions, Dumas
- Garrett Uekman’s former high school team, Catholic
- Fountain Lake
- Pulaski Academy
- Mountain Home
The following is a recently produced tribute video. It’s certainly worth a watch and shows many of Uekman’s highlights on the filed as a Razorback.
The Garrett Uekman Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The purpose is to raise funds for heart disease education and to fund scholarships for deserving student athletes.
The Garrett Uekman Foundation has pledged $100,000 to help fund an endowed memorial scholarship within Razorback Athletics to honor the memory of former Razorback football student-athlete Garrett Uekman.
The gift agreement was signed in a ceremony held in Garrett’s hometown of Little Rock on Monday, Oct. 15. Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long was joined by members of the Uekman family including Garrett’s parents, Danny and Michelle, and his sister Meagan.
When the scholarship is fully funded, a Razorback student-athlete will be recognized each year in perpetuity.
“We are deeply honored that the Uekman family and the Uekman Foundation have chosen to make this commitment to celebrate Garrett’s legacy in this way,” Long said. “Garrett Uekman was more than just a tight end on the football team. He was a special young man who made an impact on the lives of his teammates and students around the University of Arkansas campus. He was an extraordinary person and a true Razorback.
“The Uekmans’ courage in the face of tragedy has encouraged all of us and their continued work on preserving Garrett’s legacy has been truly inspiring. We are grateful to Danny, Michelle, Meagan and the Uekman Foundation for helping Razorback Athletics further meet its mission of developing student-athletes to their fullest potential through intercollegiate athletics.”
Uekman, 19, passed away in November 2011 due to complications from cardiomyopathy which resulted in an enlarged heart. At the time of his death, Uekman was a sophomore majoring in applied exercise science in the College of Education and Health Professions. He was a redshirt freshman on the Arkansas Razorback football team, where he played tight end. He played in nine games during the 2011 football season.
In his memory, the Garrett Uekman Foundation was founded to help fund heart disease education and fund scholarships to deserving student-athletes.
As our friends at ArkansasExpats.com wrote earlier this year – 88 days from the kickoff of the Arkansas Razorbacks football season, in fact:
Some things are bigger than football. In 88 days our beloved Razorbacks will take the field to kickoff the 2013 season, but for the second consecutive year, will be a man short.
Garrett Uekman, who passed from a condition that caused an irregular heart beat in 2011, was the last man to wear number 88. Uekman, a top 10 Arkansas recruit, recorded 56 catches for 600 yards as a senior at Catholic High. He chose his home team Hogs over the likes of Alabama, Auburn, LSU and others. After redshirting his freshman year, Uekman saw action in 9 games in 2011, including the Mississippi State game in Little Rock. There, Uekman played in his final Razorback game before family and friends in his hometown at War Memorial Stadium.
The only player to wear the number 88 since Uekman’s death was tightend Austin Tate, Uekman’s best friend. Since then, the number has been vacant and many have argued that it should be retired along with Clyde Scott’s 12 and Brandon Burlsworth’s 77 as honored numbers of Arkansas Football.
The Garrett Uekman Foundation was founded shortly after his death to raise money for heart disease research. I encourage all of our readers to visit the non-profit organization’s website at gu88.org, where you can make donations, sign up to volunteer, and keep tabs on the organization’s events such as the 2013 7-on-7 Tournament in July.
Rest In Peace, Garrett.