Published: February 2, 2012
If you went to the Blue Raider men's basketball game last week, you might have noticed something unusual.
Most of the time the men's coaching staff, including head coach Kermit Davis, wear dress shoes with their suits, but on that night they wore sneakers for a good cause.
Davis joined more than 1,000 fellow college and high school coaches around the nation as part of the annual Coaches vs Cancer "Suits and Sneakers" weekend.
It is one of several events that the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches put on each year to help fight cancer.
The message both sides wanted to get out this weekend is getting people to be more active.
"By lacing up sneakers with their suits," a joint press release from both organizations said, "college and high school basketball coaches nationwide will spotlight the fact that while cancer remains a major health concern, everyone can take daily steps to reduce their cancer risk of the disease. For those who do not 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 percent of cancer deaths in women and 14 percent in men."
Since 1993, thanks to events like this, the ACS has raised more than $70 million dollars for cancer research.
Last week, the event at the Murphy Center was a big success, according to Davis and there was several reasons why the program took part in the fundraiser.
"The biggest reason is bringing awareness to cancer research. And I thought (the Suits and Sneakers) did," said Davis, whose team is currently 20-3 and playing at to North Texas tonight. "We raised almost $2,000 that night. Every little bit helps. But I think the biggest thing is the increased awareness because we've all been touched by cancer."
Sometimes the coaches get a bad rap for some of the things that happen within its program. Of course, fans and media will blast them for its transgressions. In the meantime, most of these same coaches also make a positive impact on campus and in the community. This also needs to be spotlighted.
It is also a great way to make a difference, since most everyone knows somebody that has a form of cancer, including myself.
Growing up, my grandfather on my mother's side had throat cancer. He had to use a electrolarynx, or electronic voice box, in order to communicate with other people.
That is just one of the many stories that have touched family members that knows someone with a form of cancer. Hopefully, events like this will get the message out and save lives in the future.