Today North Carolina State will host the fourth “Hoops 4 Hope” game, which helps raise money for the cancer research fund in late Coach Kay Yow’s name. The event, established by Yow to raise awareness for the disease that ultimately took her life, is sold out for the first time, bringing Yow’s long fight back to the forefront, less then three weeks after her death.
“She always looked at this as a game that would provide hope for so many cancer survivors and for so many people who are having difficulties in their lives,” said interim coach Stephanie Glance, an assistant to Yow for 15 seasons. “There’s such great energy and such great cause that it’s so uplifting.”
The first “Hope” game came against Maryland in 2006 and raised $27,000 through donations and auctions for a local chapter of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The next year, the event raised about $44,000. Last season was the first in which the proceeds went to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, created in December 2007. The event raised more than $42,000 last season.
During halftime of today’s game, breast cancer survivors will be invited to walk onto the court and stand together in order to give hope to those fighting the disease.
Glance said Yow’s office door will remain open the rest of the season.
“It was comforting to me,” she said. “Others [on staff] would say they don’t want to go in there because it makes them sad. But for me, I wanted to be in there, look around and take everything in.
“When everybody will feel the same way will be when we have to pack up her things and it’s no longer her office, and we’ll be very sad. Right now, it’s just like it was, but it won’t be like that much longer.”
For more information on the Pink Zone initiative, a “unified effort to raise breast cancer awareness on the court and across high school and college campuses,” Go to ESPN.com or tune in to ESPN2 Sunday at 1p.m. EST.