🏀 Jayhawks Raise Funds for the American Cancer Society
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The annual Coaches vs. Cancer Tipoff, usually conducted in Kansas City, Missouri, took a new look this year as it moved Lawrence, Kansas, and was labeled the Coaches vs. Cancer Rock Chalk Tipoff.
The event, which has been held in KC its first 14 years of existence, took place on Wednesday evening at Crown Automotive and was sponsored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) in conjunction with the American Cancer Society.
This year’s event was presented by The University of Kansas Health System and The University of Kansas Cancer Center. More than $200,000 was raised, with a focus on making an impact locally.
A silent auction began on Oct. 2, and more than 300 patrons packed into the Crown Automotive’s back room on Wednesday evening to raise money for the American Cancer Society (ACS). The event consisted of silent and live auctions raising funds for the ACS.
Celebrity guests for the event included renown broadcaster Bill Raftery, Kansas head coach Bill Self, his staff and the current team, and many former KU men’s basketball players and dignitaries.
Following a meet and greet reception and live auction, Raftery held a panel discussion with two starters from the 2022 NCAA National Championship team – Jalen Wilson and Dajuan Harris Jr., 2008 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player Mario Chalmers and Self. The panel discussed KU’s rich basketball history and success from KU’s NCAA National Championship 2022 season in addition to what fans will expect for the upcoming 2022-23 campaign.
“It’s always good to come back to Lawrence for me. Especially my foundation, being attached to breast cancer, I’m always looking for a way to be back and be a part of it for a good cause,” Chalmers said referencing the Mario V. Chalmers Foundation.
“I know with my family, I’ve had some people affected by cancer,” Wilson said. “It’s always good to support something like this. It’s something that if you are not personally affected by it, you know someone who is.”
In 1993, 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 NABC. It originally was challenging fans to pledge a dollar amount for every three-point field goal made by his team but has evolved into one of the biggest cancer-fighting drives in the world.
“One of the biggest adversaries and biggest villains known to Kansas was Norm Stewart,” Self said. “He’s the coolest, nicest, sweetest and biggest-hearted guy there ever is. What he’s done starting Coaches vs. Cancer and playing a pivotal role in its success over the years is amazing. We have raised more than 145 million dollars through Coaches vs. Cancer. Norm Stewart’s legacy has far exceeded what he did as a basketball coach and he was a Hall of Fame basketball coach.”
One can contribute to the ACS by visiting www.cancer.org.