Jan. 27, 2012

 

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Coach Jim Larranaga and his staff will join nearly 4000 head and assistant basketball coaches across the U.S. who are expected to swap their loafers for sneakers during the ninth annual Coaches vs. Cancer Suits & Sneakers game on Jan. 29 against Boston College.

Coaches vs. Cancer Suits & Sneakers is a visual effort to bring awareness to the American Cancer Society’s vision of a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

Both high school and college basketball coaches will lace up their sneakers to spotlight the fact that cancer remains a major health concern and everyone can take daily steps to reduce their risk of the disease.

“We are excited that basketball coaches nationwide are joining in the fight against this deadly disease,” said Cynthia M. LeBlanc Ed.D, the volunteer board chair of the American Cancer Society. “Coaches are truly influential celebrities within their communities; they can reach fans and share important information about reducing the risk of cancer by encouraging healthy lifestyle choices.”

At least half of all new cancer cases can be either prevented or detected earlier by screening. According to the most recent Cancer Facts & Figures, in 2011 an estimated 171,600 preventable cancer deaths were caused by tobacco use, and scientific evidence suggests about a third of the more than 570,000 cancer deaths that occurred last year were related to overweight, obesity, physical inactivity and poor nutrition. Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk for developing a number of cancers, including certain breast, colon, endometrium, kidney and pancreatic cancers.

Wearing sneakers is much more than a fashion statement; it’s visual reminder from the coaches that prevention is key when it comes to blocking cancer before it takes center court in our lives.

“This is so much more important than just a game,” says St. Joseph head coach, Phil Martelli, the 2011-2012 chair of the Coaches vs. Cancer 23-member council. “This is a matter of life and death, and by participating coaches have a chance to make a real impact.”

Coaches vs. Cancer is a collaborative initiative of the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), empowering coaches, their teams and local communities to make a difference in the fight against cancer.

Since 1993 the initiative has raised more than $75 million dollars to fund groundbreaking research, provide up-to-date cancer literacy, advocate for public health policies and deliver services to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.

It’s never too late to get involved. Check out coachesvscancer.org to learn more about other events on the horizon for 2012, including:

Fight Cancer In Style (March 31, 2012): a luncheon for coaches’ wives to be held during the NCAA Final Four weekend in New Orleans, LA

Las Vegas Golf Classic (May 20 -22, 2012): to be held at the Shadow Creek Golf Course and Southern Highland Golf Club in Las Vegas, NV

Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Invitational (June 10-11, 2012 ): to be held at Whistling Straits in Kohler, WI

2K Sports Classic benefitting Coaches vs. Cancer (November 16-17, 2012): to be held at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, NY

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; by helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.5 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org