The Utah basketball team makes dozens of public appearances each year and gives back to the Salt Lake City community in numerous ways.
The Runnin' Utes have taken part in Utah Athletics' Fan Fest, the U.'s Employee Appreciation Day, University of Utah Healthcare's cancer awareness event, the Huntsman Cancer Institute 5K, Fan Appreciation Night at the Utah Red Zone campus store, the Utah Food Bank's Holiday Food Drive, Christmas gift deliveries with the Utah Foster Care Foundation, visiting the VA Hospital, delivering season tickets to Ute fans, helping U. students move into the dorms, delivering sandwiches and water to the homeless in Salt Lake City, and partnering with Team IMPACT.
The Runnin’ Utes took part in the Huntsman Cancer Institute 5K last June.
The annual event supports cancer research taking place at the NCI-designated cancer research facility and hospital located on the U. campus, founded by Utah industrialist and philanthropist Jon M. Huntsman Sr. Jon, his wife Karen, and the Huntsman family have been passionate supporters of the University of Utah, the athletics department and the men’s basketball program. The Runnin’ Utes added a patch to their uniform honoring Huntsman after he passed away in February 2018.
The Utah basketball program helped load supplies for Eyes4Zimbabwe. The organization began 16 years ago to help Zimbabweans who had cataracts get surgery. In the years since it has expanded its relief efforts.
In close games and hostile environments, mental and physical toughness are critical for a team. With the goal of changing the team's mindset, head coach Larry Krystkowiak has instituted some activities to the team's offseason training regimen.
The past three years during the offseason, the Utes went through a Navy SEAL training course in order to toughen them up while also improving the way in which they work together. The experience has created a catchphrase for the team that they plan to draw on throughout the season: "MUSSter Up." The drills focused on cooperation, and one of the big takeaways from the training was a traditional military axiom: "Two is one and one is none."