ATHENS, Ga. -- UGA announced a way for fans to help raise funds for Devon Gales and his family to get a handicapped-accessible home.
The announcement came at halftime of Georgia's men's basketball game against LSU at Stegeman Coliseum.
Gales, who played for Southern University, suffered a spinal injury while facing the Bulldogs two seasons ago and cannot walk. He has been recovering at Shepherd Center in Atlanta.
The University has helped raise $49,000 for the Gales family through several fundraising channels, including selling licensed Georgia t-shirts. But with estimated costs for a home at $500,000, the university is trying to get more people involved.
Fans can make donations in their chosen amount by texting “Devon” to the following number: (706) 204-1707.
Georgia will also raise funds through promotions at G-Day on April 22 at Sanford Stadium. Additional athletic departments will help promote the fundraising drive through their social media channels. The schools include Miami (Fla.), LSU and Southern.
Gales' family currently is going back and forth between Atlanta, where Gales is recovering, and the family's hometown of Baton Rouge, La. The floods that struck Baton Rouge in August damaged their existing home.
The announcement was made while UGA received the 2015-16 NCAA Sportsmanship Award at halftime.
Georgia was awarded the honor because of its first-response care and support for Gales and his family. On Sept. 26, 2015, during the third quarter of Georgia’s game in Athens against Southern, Gales suffered a career-ending spinal injury while blocking on a kickoff return.
Gales was able to move his legs again last May. Gales and his mother described the emotional moment in an interview with 11Alive soon after his major improvement.