Basketball rallies against cancer

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In addition to tallying a win Sunday, the men’s basketball team used the game to raise awareness for cancer.

The 92-81 Valentine’s Day win over the University of Hartford was part of the University’s “Rally Against Cancer” series, which raises money for the UVM Cancer Research Center, according to UVM athletics.

“Each team will wear some sort of pink apparel during the game as a sign of support towards the initiative,” said Will Hurd, promotions coordinator for UVM athletics.

For their part, the basketball team wore their traditional white home jerseys with the addition of pink accents as part of the breast cancer awareness promotion.

Additionally, the University of Vermont’s Cancer Center and other promoting sponsors set up tables in the lobby before each of these games.

Here, they have pink shirts for sale and information packets about the Cancer Center and the progress they are making, Hurd said.

The Rally Against Cancer games began in 2010 at UVM, following the lead of the breast cancer awareness initiatives made by the National Football League, which began in 2009, according to NBC Sports.

Many of the pink jerseys worn by student-athletes in these games are auctioned off by the athletic department with  the proceeds going toward the University of Vermont Cancer Center, Hurd said.

The auctions occur after the games have been played, giving fans about two days to bid on these jerseys.

The jerseys start at $125, and are sold on the UVM athletics website.

There are also other fundraising efforts during these games, such as the “Chuck a Puck” promotion at the men’s hockey Rally Against Cancer game, which took place Feb. 5 against Notre Dame, Hurd said.

This single intermission promotion raised $215 for the University’s Cancer Center.

Additionally, the athletic department donates money from its 50/50 raffles during the Rally Against Cancer games to the cause, Hurd said.

Even though the athletic department prides itself on the money raised for cancer research in the games, it is not the primary goal of these promotions, he said.

“Although the fundraising is great, the goal is to raise awareness and for people to be mindful of the great work at the University of Vermont Cancer Center,” Hurd said.

“The more people that come to these games and hear the stories of survivors and doctors, the better educated we can all be,” he said. 

The Mens basketball team defeated Hartford 92-81 Feb. 14. The game was part of the "Rally Against Cancer" games series, which fundraises for the UVM Cancer Center. BEX ADAMS/The Vermont Cynic

The Mens basketball team defeated Hartford 92-81 Feb. 14. The game was part of the “Rally Against Cancer” games series, which fundraises for the UVM Cancer Center. BEX ADAMS/The Vermont Cynic

In Sunday’s win, the Catamounts were led by junior guard Kurt Steidl’s 26 points, a career high, according to UVM athletics.

Steidl scored 19 of his 26 points in the first half, while making five three-pointers before halftime as the Catamounts took a 44-37 lead into the break, according to UVM athletics.

Scoring came from different sources in the game, with five Catamount players scoring in double figures.  

Hartford surged back in the second half, eventually taking the lead at 63-60 with 10 minutes left in the game.

However, timely three-point shooting saved the Catamounts, as they were able to retake and extend their lead.