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Coaches vs. Cancer Honors University of Kansas Head Basketball Coach Bill Self with the 2017 Champion Award
Award honors college coaches for their dedication to the fight against cancer

ATLANTA, April 3, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Coaches vs. Cancer presents University of Kansas head basketball Coach Bill Self with the Champion Award, a prestigious national honor within the Coaches vs. Cancer program. The Champion Award recognizes a college coach who has shown extraordinary leadership and a commitment to the American Cancer Society's mission of saving lives against cancer through fundraising, education, and promotional initiatives. The award was presented during Final Four Weekend at the Guardians of the Game Awards Show in Phoenix, AZ.

Coach Self has been an integral part of the Coaches vs. Cancer program since its inception in 1996. Making the fight against cancer his personal commitment, he's been instrumental in leading key successful fundraising events at the University of Kansas including the Coaches vs. Cancer Kansas City Tip-Off which has raised nearly $800,000 in 10 years and the 3-Point Challenge (formerly 3-Point Attack) which has raised more than $650,000 over 12 years. Coach Self is always willing to mobilize other coaches and their networks to help raise funds and awareness for the life-saving work of the American Cancer Society.  

"It is a privilege to honor Coach Self with the Champion Award in recognition for his dedication to the Coaches vs. Cancer program and the fight against cancer, and for serving as a role model to others," said Sharon Byers, chief development and marketing officer, American Cancer Society. "As a result of Coach Self's leadership, the Coaches vs. Cancer program continues to increase in awareness and support, raising funds to help save lives from cancer."

In addition to spearheading his own efforts, Coach Self has continuously supported Coaches vs. Cancer signature campaigns, including the annual Suits And Sneakers™ Awareness Week, a nationwide event in which coaches wear sneakers with their game attire to raise awareness about the importance that nutrition and physical activity play in reducing personal cancer risk.

"I'm honored to receive this prestigious award," said Bill Self, University of Kansas head basketball coach. "I have always supported Coaches vs. Cancer since it started with Norm Stewart, and believe that men's basketball is a great platform to create awareness for the disease. Everyone knows someone that has been affected by cancer, and hopefully through this effort we can get closer to finding more effective screening tools and better treatment options."

Coaches vs. Cancer is a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) that empowers coaches, their teams, and communities to join in saving more lives. The program leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and professional excellence of basketball coaches nationwide to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living through year-round awareness efforts, fundraising activities, and advocacy programs.

The Champion Award was instituted in 1996, with former Missouri Coach Norm Stewart receiving the inaugural honor. Since that time, the award has been presented to head coaches nationally including Jim Boeheim (Syracuse); Denny Crum (Louisville); Roy Williams (then at Kansas, now at North Carolina); Riley Wallace (Hawaii); Fran Dunphy (then at Pennsylvania and now at Temple); Gary Williams (Maryland); Mark Few (Gonzaga); Mike Brey (Notre Dame); Bruce Weber (then at Illinois, now at Kansas State); Jim Calhoun (Connecticut); Tom Izzo (Michigan State); Oliver Purnell (DePaul); Paul Hewitt (Georgia Tech); Lon Kruger (Oklahoma); Bo Ryan (Wisconsin); Steve Lavin (St. John's University); Fran McCaffery (Iowa); and Frank Martin (South Carolina).

For more information on the Coaches vs. Cancer program, visit coachesvscancer.org.

SOURCE American Cancer Society

For further information: Charaighn Sesock, American Cancer Society, 559.972.4877, charaighn.sesock@cancer.org