FGCU Men's Basketball Coaching Staff to Make Fashion Statement for Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend on Jan. 31
Thursday, January 29, 2009


FORT MYERS, Fla. - Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers awareness weekend, a collaborative initiative of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the American Cancer Society, is slated for the weekend of Jan. 30 – Feb. 1, 2009. Participating NABC-member college men’s basketball coaches, including Coach Dave Balza and his FGCU staff, will wear sneakers instead of dress shoes with their usual game attire during weekend games to demonstrate their support for the American Cancer Society and the fight against cancer. To show their support of their coach’s effort in the fight against cancer, fans also are encouraged to wear sneakers to games.

By lacing up sneakers with their suits, participating coaches nationwide will spotlight the fact that while cancer remains a major health concern, everyone can take daily steps to reduce their risk of the disease. For those who do not smoke, weight control, regular 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.

“The Coaches vs. Cancer program is a vital, year-round link between the American Cancer Society and the NABC that empowers basketball coaches, their teams and communities to join the fight against cancer,” said Jim Satalin, director of the Coaches vs. Cancer program with the Society. “The program draws from the personal experiences, community leadership and the professional excellence of coaches nationwide to increase public awareness of the Society’s mission to save lives and prevent cancer, and to raise funds to fight the disease on a variety of fronts.”

“I got involved with this program because it’s a simple act and an easy way for us to show our support for the fight against cancer,” said Balza. “We hope that all of our fans and neighbors will rally together with us through Coaches vs. Cancer to make a meaningful difference for everyone facing the disease.”

In addition to Coach Balza, other active participants who support the Society through the Coaches vs. Cancer program are some of nation’s top coaches – five of whom have won NCAA championships (dates noted), including Mike Krzyzewski (Duke, 1991, '92, 2001); Jim Calhoun (Connecticut, '99, '04); Jim Boeheim (Syracuse, '03); Gary Williams (Maryland, '02); Roy Williams (North Carolina, '05); Tubby Smith (Minnesota, but won title at Kentucky, '98); Mike Brey (Notre Dame); Mark Few (Gonzaga); Phil Martelli (Saint Joseph's); Fran Dunphy (Temple) and Mark Gottfried (Alabama).

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of college and high school coaches across the country, Coaches vs. Cancer participants have raised nearly $45 million since 1993 to help the Society save lives by educating and empowering people to avoid cancer or find it early, helping people facing cancer make decisions and overcome obstacles in their personal fight investing in research that yields groundbreaking discoveries into cancer’s causes and cures and helping pass laws that fight cancer and keep our communities healthy. Several events throughout the year will continue to highlight the productive work of Coaches vs. Cancer, including Fight Cancer In Style, an event for coaches’ wives during the NCAA Final Four weekend; the annual Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Invitational, June 7-8 at the Raleigh (N.C.) Country Club; the annual 2K Sports College Hoops Classic Benefitting Coaches vs. Cancer in November; and hundreds of community events such as galas, breakfasts and other activities across the nation. Additional information is available at www.cancer.org/coaches.

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. For more information anytime, call toll free, 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.