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Campus Community Gets Constant Center Shout-Out from Rapper Xzibit for Extreme Food Drive Collection

Old Dominion University's basketball victory over Delaware Wednesday night had some serious star power.

The rapper Xzibit, one of the stars of the ABC television show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," revved up the halftime crowd, videotaping a message for Beverly Hill, Fred Burdette and their six children, who will receive a new house at the end of this week.

Television crews recorded Xzibit's halftime appearance, which featured him surrounded by the ODU student section taping a message for the Hill-Burdettes, who are in California while their house gets built.

"I'm here at Old Dominion University, and I've got about 8,000 people that want to say hello," Xzibit shouted into a hand-held camera, while the students behind him cheered loudly.

The rapper-turned-television-star went on to say that since poverty and homelessness is such an important issue for the Hill-Burdettes, "I'm proud to announce that we collected over 150,000 pounds of food" for local food banks through a food drive co-sponsored by ODU.

The university sailing team contributed a "boatload" of food to the Extreme Food Drive, carrying a varsity sailboat out onto the court. The boat contained 5,000 pounds of food that was collected over the past few weeks.

"We were really excited to participate," said ODU sailing coach Mitch Brindley. "The idea of a boatload of food, we thought, would be a fun way to get people excited to collect some food. It brought some attention to the sailing program, which we love, but more importantly, we got a lot of donations this way."

Scenes from halftime will be shown during the upcoming episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" when the Hill-Burdettes receive their new home. The show is expected to air in six to eight weeks.

Members of the ODU band, along with the color guard, cheerleading squad, Big Blue and a contingent of students, also got into the action, joining other community supporters and volunteers in the "Extreme March to Make a Difference," which was organized by the ABC show staff as a fundraiser to help pay for construction items that were not donated. The participants marched Thursday afternoon to the construction site to see the project firsthand.

ODU Athletic Director Wood Selig said the exposure for the university has been fantastic.

"I'm a big fan of 'Extreme Makeover,'" Selig said. "Our family watches the show on Sunday nights, and they do such a nice job. To see that they're here in our community, involving ODU in all the hoopla that surrounds that weekly program, it's a great opportunity for our fans to put their best foot forward and show a national audience the type of support we can garner."

Selig said it all ties in to the new strategic plan that will guide the athletic department in the years ahead.

"We're going to have a major emphasis for all of our student-athletes, coaches and administration to give back to the community, and be very engaged and involved civically," he said. "It's in keeping with what we want to become on a larger scale, as far as giving back to the local Hampton Roads area."

This article was posted on: February 3, 2011

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