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Arizona coach Sean Miller on postponement: ‘Basketball should be last thing on anyone’s mind’

Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne said the university knew postponing Saturday’s Arizona-Stanford men’s basketball game was “the right thing to do” in the wake of today’s shooting of U.S. Congresswomen Gabrielle Giffords.

Byrne also read a statement from Wildcats coach Sean Miller.

Wrote Miller:

“Basketball should be the last thing on anyone’s mind right now. Our thoughts are with the families and the people in this community touched by this tragedy. As a husband, father and member of the community, today’s events have affected me deeply.”

The game was postponed at about 2 p.m. following this morning’s shooting in northwest Tucson that critically injured Giffords, wounded others and killed six, according to Reuters.

“Obviously, we want to have our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims in this terrible tragedy,” Byrne said in brief comments outside of McKale Center.

The game will be played at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

“We know sports often work to bring people together and we look forward to providing that opportunity tomorrow as a community to get everybody together and focus on our great community that we have,” Byrne said.

Byrne said Stanford cooperated fully with the postponement of the game. Byrne, who conferred with university president Robert Shelton, said he was in contact with Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby, and the coaching staff was in contact with the Cardinal coaches.

“They basically put it in our hands and said, ‘Do whatever you need to do and we’ll support you,’” Byrne said of Stanford. “They’re great like that.”

Another consideration in the postponement was law enforcement.

“We also thank the local law enforcement,” Byrne said. “They work our games and we know they needed to be out focused on the issue at hand today. They have been wonderful to work with through this process as well.”

The game will be televised by Fox Sports Arizona.

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