The WBCA's "Pink Zone" initiative is a global, unified effort for the WBCA's nation of coaches to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond. More than 1,250 women's basketball teams and supporting organizations are participating in some way during the WBCA's "Pink Zone" initiative in 2009. Additionally, the GLIAC is also committed to the fight against breast cancer by encouraging support for the "Pink Wave" campaign throughout its member league institutions.
As part of this year's "Pink Wave" night, the FSU Athletics Department has teamed up locally with "Colleges Against Cancer". Proceeds from the event will raise money for the Colleges Against Cancer organization.
The Bulldog men's and women's basketball teams and staff will wear special pink attire, including shoelaces and shooting shirts to help support the cause during the game. Additionally, the FSU cheerleaders and game staff will also be dressed in pink while the Wink Arena floor will be outlined with pink tape. Game officials across the nation will also be blowing a commemorative pink whistle during the "Pink Zone" initiative.
The Bulldog women's game against the Cardinals tips off at 6 p.m. (EST) with the men's game to follow at 8 p.m. (EST). Tickets will be sold at the door starting one hour prior to game time. Fans are encouraged to wear pink as well to help support the cause.
"All of us are connected to someone who is affected by cancer," said FSU women's basketball head coach Tracey Dorow. "Those who are fighting (all) the stress, as well as the mental, and physical pain associated with this disease are very inspiring to our players. We want to support and honor these people -- they are heroes for what they endure."
Colleges Against Cancer will have an informational table located in the facility lobby and several raffles will be held throughout the night to raise funds, including a 50-50 raffle and a "Best Seat In The House" promotion. During the men's basketball halftime activities, a special "Survivor Ceremony" will take place as all cancer survivors in attendance will be recognized.
Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) is a nationwide collaboration of college students, faculty, and staff dedicated to eliminating cancer by working to implement the programs and mission of the American Cancer Society. Funds raised during the Feb. 19 league doubleheader will be used to further cancer research and local programs.
"This event will allow our organization a large venue to help generate awareness for cancer," said Kyle Cutler, who oversees the local CAC chapter in his position as an ambassador with the American Cancer Society based in Grand Rapids. "This is also a great chance for the local community to see a whole group of students working together to find a cure for a disease that has taken so much.
"More importantly, it is also an opportunity for our student group to let individuals know that no matter what stage of the cancer journey they are in, the American Cancer Society is poised and ready to help," he added.
The WBCA began the WBCA Pink Zone™, formerly known as "Think Pink", in 2007 as an initiative to raise breast cancer awareness in women's basketball, on campuses and in communities. In 2007, more than 120 schools unified for this effort and helped make the inaugural year a success. In 2008, over 1,200 teams and organizations participated, reaching over 830,000 fans and raising over $930,000 for breast cancer awareness and research.
This year's "Pink Zone" initiative is especially meaningful with the recent passing of North Carolina State women's basketball head coach Kay Yow to breast cancer. Yow was a past president and founding member of the WBCA, and served as a leader and a galvanizing voice for the Association. She was an Olympic Gold Medal head coach in 1988, NCAA Elite Eight and Women’s Final Four coach in 1998, Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee in 2000, as well as a Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee in 2002. Yow, who won the inaugural Jimmy V ESPY for Perseverance at the 2007 ESPY Awards, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987.
"Kay Yow was such a fighter and always looking for ways to encourage those around her, despite her battle with breast cancer," Dorow said. "We hope that our wearing "pink" will honor her by encouraging those who are still fighting this disease and remembering those who have lost loved ones to cancer."