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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Former Gonzaga big man Kelly Olynyk has changed his look in order to benefit Wigs for Kids

May 9, 2018 Updated Wed., May 9, 2018 at 5:18 p.m.

Miami Heat center Kelly Olynyk reacts during team practice at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on April 18. (David Santiago / Associated Press)
Miami Heat center Kelly Olynyk reacts during team practice at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on April 18. (David Santiago / Associated Press)
By Ira Winderman Sun Sentinel

The stylists no longer will have to keep score when it comes to man bun or headband.

Kelly Olynyk, the former Gonzaga standout, has found a higher calling for the locks that have defined his NBA career.

With a longer offseason than he is used to after his seasons with the Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat big man has made meaningful use of his time, sharing a photo and post of his deed on his Instagram feed.

From the Wigs for Kids website:

“When children lose their hair, they don’t just suffer physically. The change in their appearance can drastically undermine their self-image and sabotage their self-esteem.”

To help heal the pain of these struggles, Certified Cosmetic Therapist Jeffrey Paul founded Wigs for Kids, a nonprofit organization that has been serving children suffering from hair loss since 1981.

Wigs for Kids is a cooperative effort among Certified Cosmetic Therapists throughout North America who share a common goal.

“Children shouldn’t have to worry about how they look, especially when they’re in the middle of a health crisis,” Paul said. “We want to give these kids the opportunity to feel good about themselves again.

“The value of all children’s wigs hair replacements is $1,800. These are custom-made hair replacements. Each prosthesis is hand-tied and is made completely from human hair. We make sure they look just like a child’s own hair.”

Olynyk’s locks ultimately made the needed cut.

Per Wigs for Kids, “If you’re interested in donating your hair, your first step is to set a length goal. While we accept hair donations of 12 inches or longer, we encourage you to donate 14-plus inches of hair; the more length you can donate, the more of an impact you will make.”

Donation forms can be found here.

As for Olynyk, going to more of the Pat Riley look could be beneficial to the Heat. His teams hold a higher winning percentage when he wears the shorter, bun look than when releasing his locks and using a headband.

Olynyk had previously told ESPN of his coif choices, “You know, there isn’t a lot of science behind it. It’s kinda however I’m feeling. I feel like if something is not working, I have to switch it up. So I kinda go back and forth.”

As for Riley, he said at Olynyk’s introductory media session in July that the locks and looks were the least of his concerns.

“Long hair or man bun,” Riley said, “I don’t give a damn.”

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