COLUMBIA − A family of longtime Tigers supporters has given the University of Missouri Department of Athletics a $5.2 million commitment to establish a men's basketball endowment. 

The gift is expected to improve and enhance the student-athlete experience for men's basketball players and will be placed in an endowment to support such efforts.

In recognition of the commitment, the Whitten family will be honored during Saturday's home game against Alabama at 2:30 p.m. at Mizzou Arena. 

The Mizzou's men's basketball head coaching position will also be named the "Dorothy D. and Charles E. Whitten Jr. Men's Basketball Head Coach." It will be referred to as the "Whitten Family Men's Basketball Head Coach" by media. 

The purpose of the Dorothy D. and Charles E. Whitten Jr. Men's Basketball Head Coach endowment is to "recognize two extraordinary individuals, who were exemplary parents, coaches, teachers, mentors, sponsors and role models for so many in their beloved home state of Missouri for the last 75 years and counting," a news release said.

“Most people in life want something from us, we were so lucky that my mother and late father wanted something for us, and all they interacted with throughout their lives,” Dr. Chuck Whitten said. “Their lives were defined by selfless sacrifice. They worked so hard to assure a five-star culture in whatever environment they were in because they knew that would create a five-star team. Their empathy is what others admired about their approach to life.”

The Whitten family hopes to perpetuate Dorothy and Charles' legacy, where they were rabid basketball fans for over half a century and counting. 

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