It’s March Madness time and that’s the time of year when basketball fans across the state turn their minds towards COVID-19. 

Well, OK, that’s not usually the case – usually, the fans are focused entirely on basketball. But this year the State of North Carolina is using the state’s most beloved sport to get out the word that all adults should be vaccinated against the disease.

State health officials have called on the state’s coaches to encourage all eligible North Carolinians to get the shot. The campaign is called “You Have A Spot. Take Your Shot.”

In a new public service announcement released on Thursday, March 18 by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the state’s men’s and women’s basketball coaches urge everyone to take their shot against COVID-19.

Recently, the state has been using prominent figures from many walks of life to encourage people to get vaccinated.  Earlier this week, the state released a statement and video by NASCAR legend Richard Petty to that effect.

In the new attempt at persuasion, basketball coaches – in videos and written statements – speak about why they chose to get vaccinated and why others should too.

Kevin Keatts, North Carolina State University men’s basketball head coach, stated in the public service press release that his “trust in science guides his support for COVID-19 vaccines.”

University of North Carolina head coach Roy Williams states something similar

 “I believe in our scientists and took the vaccine to protect myself and others, and to live longer,” the UNC coach said.

Duke University, sadly, didn’t make it into the NCAA Tournament this year, but the men’s basketball head coach – Mike Krzyzewski and his wife – did make it into the state’s public service announcement.  Both were vaccinated in February.

Coach Krzyzewski describes his gratitude in knowing that they and others are protected.

Charlotte Smith, the head coach of the women’s basketball at Elon University, stated, “Get in the game, get off the sidelines and get vaccinated. Take the torch and be the example by doing your part to protect the community.”

High Point University men’s basketball head coach Tubby Smith states that getting vaccinated is everyone’s responsibility since it’s a way to protect your family and friends.

Wake Forest’s head men’s basketball coach Steve Forbes reminds people in his spot that they need to keep washing their hands and maintain distance from others as well as get vaccinated.

 “We’re going to get through this,” Forbes said,” but until then, we have to continue to wear our masks and practice social distancing,”

North Carolinians can find a spot to take their shot at or by calling 1-888-675-4567.