"Coaches vs. Cancer": FGCU Hosts ETSU on Friday Night
Tuesday, February 05, 2008

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The FGCU men's basketball team is teaming up with the American Cancer Society and will be holding a "Coaches vs. Cancer" day on Friday Feb. 8, as the Eagles host ETSU at 7 p.m. in Alico Arena. The FGCU coaching staff will wear sneakers instead of dress shoes with their usual game attire and will also wear orange Coaches vs. Cancer bracelets to show support for the American Cancer Society and the fight against cancer during the game.  The Eagles come into the game with an 8-15 record while ETSU comes in on a five game winning streak and 13-9 record.

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.

Coaches vs. Cancer is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) that empowers basketball coaches, their teams, and local communities to make a difference in the fight against cancer. 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.

Coaches vs. Cancer evolved from a concept championed by Norm Stewart, former head coach of the University of Missouri's men's basketball program, cancer survivor, and member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. He started the program by challenging fans to pledge a dollar amount for every three points made by his team during the season.

The American Cancer Society and the NABC adopted that concept in 1993 and transformed it into a nationwide effort to unite coaches across the country in the common mission to provide help and hope to all people facing cancer. Today, more than 500 Division I, II, and III college coaches are involved in the program, having raised more than $30 million to support the American Cancer Society's lifesaving mission since its inception. Additionally, more than 100 high school coaches also participate in the program.

In 1998, the Coaches vs. Cancer Council was formed-a distinguished group of NABC member basketball coaches, American Cancer Society volunteers, and business leaders from across the country - to explore new and innovative ways to raise funds, recruit prominent coaches, enhance the program, and help win the fight against cancer.

Because cancer has touched so many of our nation's basketball coaches, Coaches vs. Cancer offers them the unique opportunity to fight the disease. Through integrated fundraising activities and public awareness campaigns, participating coaches are truly making a difference in the fight against cancer and are raising awareness in their communities about the importance of cancer prevention, early detection, and making healthy lifestyle choices.

The Bucs come in as one of the top offensive teams in the A-Sun.  ETSU is averaging 78.2 points per game and lead the league in field goal percentage at 45.8% and also lead the A-Sun in turnover margin at +2.41 per game.  The duo of Kevin Tiggs and Courtney Pigram lead the Bucs potent offense.  Tiggs was named A-Sun player of the week last week and averages 15.7 points per game while Pigram was named Player-of-the-Year last season and is averaging 15.5 points per contest this year.

FGCU’s Casey Wohlleb scored his 1000th career point in a loss at Belmont last Saturday.  He now has 1003 for his career and 940 during his three years at FGCU.  Wohlleb is averaging 16.0 points per contest, good for 8th in the league.  The 6-7 senior from Boca Raton, Fla., has led the team in scoring 12 times this season and topped the 20 point mark on seven occasions.  Delvin Franklin (Houston, Texas) has emerged as one of the top three point shooters in the league.  Franklin is second in the league in three-point field goal percentage at 42.9%.  Franklin has risen to 18th in the A-Sun in scoring in conference games, averaging 13.4 points per game, knocking down over 45% of his three’s.

The game can be seen live on ASun.TV.  Individual games can be purchased for $5.95 while monthly packages are $ 9.95.  Tickets for the game still remain and can be purchased by calling the FGCU box office at (239) 590-7145 or by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/tickets.