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  1. Sports
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Tampa-based sports agent completes ‘amazing’ climb up Mount Kilimanjaro

B.B. Abbott says the physical and mental grind was all worth it as he was motivated by pediatric cancer causes.
Tampa-based sports agent B.B. Abbott, left, successfully climbs Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for pediatric cancer charities. He is pictured with friends Dustin Bertram, middle, and Pete Hendricks, who made the climb with him. [B.B. ABBOTT | Special to the Times]

There were challenges along the way for sure, but Tampa-based sports agent B.B. Abbott made it safely to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro this week, completing the trek to benefit pediatric cancer charities.

“To be able to do this for myself personally and to raise money for pediatric cancer research and awareness at the same time is one of the most humbling and amazing accomplishments of my life,” Abbott texted Wednesday morning, having showered and shaved for the first time in a week, and before heading to Zanzibar for some well-deserved R&R.

When Abbott completed the week-long trek to the summit, he planted flags representing two organizations he is involved with, the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation and the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research. He had pledges for donations of nearly $135,000, and after exceeding his initial goals of $100,000 and $125,000, was hoping to get to $150,000. (To donate, go here.)

Related: Tampa sports agent takes charitable cause to new heights

Making the 19,000-plus foot ascent was a challenge in many ways, said Abbott, who had two buddies and trained guides with him, all arranged by Mark Gerling, whose agency handles travel for many of Abbott’s Jet Sports Management clients.

“Oh yeah,” Abbott texted. “Physical and mental grind on the way up. ... Negative degrees, 35-40 mph wins, pitch black. ... You focus on the things that are important to you to get through. Thought about those kids and their families 50 times.”

Abbott started in the agent business working with childhood friend Chipper Jones, and his company’s extensive client list includes Rays Brent Honeywell, Charlie Morton and Mike Zunino.