Why Power of Pink meet means more for Alabama gymnastics senior Griffin James

Mikey DiLullo
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama gymnastics hosts Georgia on Friday in the Power of Pink meet. The honor of competing to raise awareness of breast cancer is not lost on Alabama senior Griffin James.

"To me, it's just competing for a bigger cause," said James.

James has also spent time working with breast cancer patients at DCH, which James has credited with changing her perspective on breast cancer awareness.

"I've been introduced to a huge community, the breast cancer community," James said. "It's really exciting. I have a different point of view this year."

Alabama coach Dana Duckworth helped get her involved with volunteer work at DCH, taking advantage of the free time she has in her senior year.

"I'm only taking two classes this year, so I went to Dana and I was like, 'I cannot stand being bored. Help me find an opportunity to stay busy,'" said James. "And she said, 'You're going to love this.' So, I go about three times a week."

4/16/21 WGY NCAA's Day 1
Alabama gymnast Griffin James
Photo by Robert Sutton

But the Power of Pink meet isn't just about breast cancer awareness for James. She uses her platform to help her other humanitarian efforts as well.

"This year, I also wanted to bring awareness to something else," said James. "There is a little boy, his name is Stryker, and I wanted to raise awareness because he has a rare condition that's really not well known."

James and the rest of the team have come up with a couple different solutions to help raise awareness for Stryker. One involves selling "Stryker Strong" T-shirts, but the more popular one involves fans at home meets.

"We've been doing 'Sticks for Stryker' every meet," said James. "It kind of motivates us a little bit. When I see people with a stick, I think 'Oh yeah.' Let's raise more. We got this."