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

Sophomore Point Guard Zakai Zeigler and his family tragically saw their Long Island, New York house burn down in February. Quickly, Vols fans jumped to help the struggling family.

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

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Tennessee guard Zakai Zeigler (5) passes the ball as he's defended by East Tennessee State guard Jordan King (2) during an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn.

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

Volunteers’ fans and people touched by the family’s story shattered the $50,000 goal and raised over $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 has been posted on Twitter and is worth your time:

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

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

Zakai also took to Twitter to express his gratitude to all the people who helped his family realize 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 Southeastern Conference tournament championship game Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Tampa, Fla.

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 Southeastern Conference tournament championship game Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Tampa, Fla.
(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Zeigler’s road to Tennessee has been fraught with peril and his perseverance is an inspiration to all. So, too, is the love shown by Vols Nation. With so many negative stories in the press, it’s nice to take a moment to recognize there are a lot of really good people in this great country.



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