Close Menu

Barnes, Heeke To Speak at UArizona Arthritis Center ‘Bear Down Celebration’

Barnes, Heeke To Speak at UArizona Arthritis Center ‘Bear Down Celebration’

UArizona Women’s Basketball Head Coach Adia Barnes and Vice President and Director of Athletics Dave Heeke will headline the annual Arthritis Center fundraiser.

What: Bear Down Celebration
When: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021
Where: 1670 East Drachman Street, Tucson. Purchase tickets for the live event or register for the free livestream at

NOTE TO WRITERS/EDITORS: Media are welcome to cover this event. Participants will be available for interviews in advance. To make arrangements, please contact Tracy Shake, University of Arizona Arthritis Center, at

Building on a long tradition of mutual support, the University of Arizona Arthritis Center is teaming up with the UArizona Department of Intercollegiate Athletics for the Arizona Arthritis Center Bear Down Celebration featuring UArizona head women’s basketball coach Adia Barnes and Vice President for Athletics Dave Heeke as speakers.

This meaningful collaboration started when Hall of Fame basketball coach Lute Olson arrived at the university in 1983. Since then, the Bear Down Celebration has helped raise nearly $2 million for arthritis research, outreach and education at UArizona.

The Bear Down Celebration will be highlighted by a live studio audience of ticket holders and sponsors who will enjoy lunch from Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar and a question and answer session with Barnes and Heeke.

Barnes will share a candid look into her team’s rise to prominence and its first appearance in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four in 2021. Heeke will offer an overview on the past year in college athletics and detail what is on the horizon for the 2021-22 season. Both also will discuss the upcoming basketball season and give participants an inside look at Wildcat athletics on a conference and national level.

About the Presenters

Adia Barnes became Arizona’s head women’s basketball coach in April 2016. The leading scorer in Arizona women’s basketball history and a WNBA Champion, Barnes came to Tucson after serving as an assistant coach at the University of Washington for five seasons. Through her first five seasons as head coach, Barnes has won 89 games, the most of any Arizona coach in program history in their first five seasons. She also is the only coach in school history to win at least 20 games three times in her first five seasons. During the NCAA Tournament, Arizona defeated UConn in the Final Four, the first time in school history Arizona beat the No. 1 team in the nation and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Dave Heeke was named vice president/director of athletics at the University of Arizona in February 2017, following 11 years as athletics director at Central Michigan University. Heeke’s vision for Arizona Athletics centers on a culture of excellence, a focus on a first-class student-athlete experience, championship-caliber competitive performances on the field, on the court and in the classroom, and an enhanced fan experience. During the unprecedented challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Arizona Athletics became a national leader in testing, tracing and treatment under Heeke’s guidance while completing a 2020-21 year that capped unrivaled championship success in a variety of sports as well as in the classroom.

Registration is required. The livestream is free and open to the public. Tickets for the live studio audience are $100 per person and include lunch. Tickets are partially tax deductible. Sponsorships are also available and include seats for the live studio audience event. For more information and to register, visit

The title sponsor for this event is Desert Diamond Casinos. For questions, please email or call 520-626-6046. The RSVP deadline for sponsorships and ticket purchases is Oct. 7, the deadline for livestream-only registration is Oct. 13.