On Friday evening, January 23, the Lady Bobcats and Bobcats hosted Coaches vs. Cancer/Play4Kay Night at the Keeter gymnasium.
The "Play4Kay" initiative is a global, unified effort for the WBCAs' nation of coaches to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities, and beyond. Play4Kay remembers the late Kay Yow, former North Carolina State University head women's basketball coach. Yow was a founding member of the WBCA, who was diagnosed in 1987 with breast cancer and passed away January 24, 2009 after facing her third bout with the disease.
The Coaches vs. Cancer program is a collaborative effort between the American Cancer Society and basketball coaches. Since its inception, the Coaches vs. Cancer program has raised nearly $85 million to help the American Cancer Society with its mission of funding community-based research, educating people on early detection and potential risks, and providing patient services.
During the event, women's players wore pink warm-up shirts, the men's coaches wore suits and sneakers, and the officials for both games used pink whistles.
At halftime of the women's game, the Lady Bobcats recognized representatives from Cox Health Cancer Center-Branson--Ben Morris and Kristy Nation (pictured with Head Lady Bobcat Coach Becky Vest and Athletic Director Al Waller). Morris is the Director of Cox Cancer Center-Branson, where he oversees the daily operations of the department. Ben has been with the cancer center since it opened in 2008 and has helped bring radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and cancer research to the residents of Stone and Taney counties. Kristy Nation is a native of Illinois, who recently moved to Forsyth. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2014 and is currently receiving chemotherapy at Cox Cancer Center-Branson. Even though she is relatively new to the community, Kristy has received support, love, and care from her children's school, the hospital staff, and the community.
Following the ballgame, women who have survived or are currently fighting cancer were invited to center court, where they were presented with a commemorative pink t-shirt by Lady Bobcats' and Lady Flames' players, along with a coupon for free popcorn and soda from Sodexo presented by the Cheer Team.