Tennessee sophomore Zakai Zeigler’s family moves into house bought by Vols fans


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There are plenty of stories about college athletes making money and plenty of debate about whether or not that’s a good thing (it is). But there is no debate about this Knoxville story.

Second-year guard Zakai Zeigler and his family tragically saw their Long Island, New York home burn down in February. Quickly, Vols fans jumped in to help the struggling family.

Initially, a GoFundMe page was created with a goal of $50,000, and the page was properly constructed to comply with NCAA rules.

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Tennessee guard Zakai Zeigler (5) passes the ball as he is defended by East Tennessee State guard Jordan King (2) during an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, November 14, 2021, in Knoxville, Tennessee.
(AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Volunteer fans and those touched by the family’s story smashed the $50,000 goal and raised more than $350,000 for the Zeiglers.

Not only were the Zieglers able to purchase a new home, but the family moved from New York to Knoxville to be closer to Zakai as he continues his basketball journey. The video of them moving into the house was posted on Twitter and is worth your time:

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Alabama guard Jahvon Quinerly (13) fights his way inside against Tennessee guard Zakai Zeigler (5) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Alabama guard Jahvon Quinerly (13) fights his way inside against Tennessee guard Zakai Zeigler (5) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
(AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Zakai also took to Twitter to express his gratitude to everyone who helped his family achieve this dream.

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Tennessee guard Zakai Zeigler (5) drives past Texas A&M guard Wade Taylor IV (4) during the first half of an NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament championship game, Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Tampa, Florida.

Tennessee guard Zakai Zeigler (5) drives past Texas A&M guard Wade Taylor IV (4) during the first half of an NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament championship game, Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Tampa, Florida.
(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Zeigler’s road to Tennessee has been rocky and his perseverance is an inspiration to all. So is the love shown by Vols Nation. With so many negative stories in the press, it’s worth taking a moment to acknowledge that there are a lot of really good people in this great country.


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