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Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Weekend Set for February 1-3, 2008
Basketball Coaches Nationwide to Raise Awareness About the Importance of Exercising and Eating Right in Fight Against Cancer

ATLANTA 2008/01/28 -The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), in collaboration with the American Cancer Society, has scheduled the Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers awareness weekend for February 1-3, 2008. Participating NABC member coaches and coaching staff will wear sneakers instead of dress shoes with their usual game attire during weekend games to show support for the American Cancer Society and the fight against cancer.

By wearing sneakers with their suits, participating coaches are drawing attention to the fact that while cancer remains a major health concern, there are steps we can all take each day to reduce our risk: for those who don’t smoke, weight control, exercise and a healthy diet are the best ways to improve health and reduce cancer risk. Obesity has been shown to increase the risk for many forms of cancer, including breast, prostate, and colon cancers, and may account for 20% of cancer deaths in women and 14% in men. But according to a 2006 survey, more than 80% of people know about the link between overweight and heart disease, while only 8% understand the fact that excess weight is tied so strongly to cancer risk. Overweight and obesity are of particular concern in minority populations, with higher rates of both reported for Hispanic men and women and African American women than for non-Hispanic white adults.

The Coaches vs. Cancer program is a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches that empowers basketball coaches, their teams and communities to join the fight against cancer. The program leverages the personal experiences, community leadership and professional excellence of basketball coaches nationwide to increase cancer awareness and raise funds to fight the disease through year-round educational efforts and fundraising activities.

“Cancer is a very important issue to me. What we’re doing here can save lives. We coaches cannot be selfish with our time. If each of us works within our community, we can collectively make a big impact toward building a cancer-free future,” said Kelvin Sampson, Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Indiana University.

In addition to Sampson, some of the active Coaches vs. Cancer initiative participants include some of nation’s top coaches, six of whom have won NCAA championships (dates noted) , including Mike Krzyzewski (Duke, 1991, '92, 2001); Jim Calhoun (Connecticut, '99, '04); Jim Boeheim (Syracuse, '03); Tubby Smith (Minnesota, but won title at Kentucky, '98); Gary Williams (Maryland, '02); Roy Williams (North Carolina, '05); Kelvin Sampson (Indiana); Mike Brey (Notre Dame); Mark Few (Gonzaga); Phil Martelli (Saint Joseph's); and Fran Dunphy (Temple).

Since 1993 the Coaches vs. Cancer program has generated nearly $40 million in direct revenue for the Society’s fight against cancer. Participating coaches have raised awareness at their schools, in their communities and nationwide by emphasizing how cancer has touched them personally.

There will be several events later in the season and throughout the year continue the good work of Coaches vs. Cancer, including a Golf Invitational in June, and Fight Cancer In Style, an event for coaches’ wives that coincides with the Final Four weekend.

The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 13 regional Divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States.

Jamie Kimbrough
Director, Media Relations
American Cancer Society
(404) 417-5889