Teams put on the pink for cancer fundraiser

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Teams put on the pink for cancer fundraiser

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The UVM men’s and women’s basketball teams held their “rally against cancer” games  Feb. 14 and 18.

In their Feb. 14 game against University of Maryland, Baltimore County, the men’s team came out on top, while the women narrowly fell to the University of Maine in their game Feb. 18.

In both games, each team wore pink and grey jerseys that were auctioned off to support the battle against breast cancer.

The team has held games to support cancer research each year he has been at UVM, said men’s basketball head coach John Becker.

“Every year we have one game for the Vermont Cancer Center as a fundraiser, and guys wear pink uniforms and we auction them off after the game,” Becker said. “It’s a great cause.”

The Valentine’s Day game drew large crowds, and the stands were cast in a sea of pink.

“We had a great crowd, it was awesome,” Becker said.

For senior forward Hector Harold, the annual cancer games have special meaning.

“It means a lot to me just because I have had family members to suffer not only from cancer but from breast cancer. My godmother actually suffers from it,” Harold said. “For the rest of the guys and the fans, whoever has close loved ones, relatives suffering from breast cancer, it definitely means a lot.”

The men’s team has also been fundraising for Josh Speidel.

Speidel, a men’s basketball recruit, was seriously injured in a car crash Feb. 1, Harold said.

“We as a program have been raising money for Josh Speidel, who was one of our recruits who actually got into a car accident and is still in the hospital,” Harold said. “That’s another charity event that we’ve helped with.”

Much like Harold, UVM women’s basketball sophomore Sydney Smith found personal meaning in the cancer game.

“For me, the rally against cancer game means a lot. My mother passed away of leiomyosarcoma when I was 15, so I am very passionate about the fight against all cancers,” Smith said.

However, the cancer game is not the only community-benefiting event that the women’s basketball team takes part in, Smith said.

“We often visit the local elementary schools and spend time with the kids,” Smith said. “We served food at a holiday party around Christmastime. As a team, we look for as many chances as possible to help out the community and make a difference.”