The Kalamazoo Valley Women's Basketball team is gearing up to take on a new opponent - breast cancer. On Feb. 18 and 22, the team will don pink t-shirts to symbolize that they've entered the Pink Zone. Both the Feb. 18 away game vs. Ancilla College and the Feb. 22 home game against Jackson Community College are Pink Zone games meant to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer treatment and research.
Kalamazoo Valley's assistant women's basketball coach Maureen Brown said this is the third year the team has held a Pink Zone game. Donations from the event will be given to the West Michigan Cancer Center in downtown Kalamazoo and to the Terry Gillette Memorial Fund established in memory of former KVCC women's basketball assistant coach Terry Gillette, who lost his fight with cancer in 2010.
"We did our first breast cancer awareness game in 2009 and it just exploded from there," said Brown. "It's a big thing with our team because so many of our players have been affected by breast cancer. All 12 of them have been affected somehow so we just want to do what we can to help."
Pink Zone games are also known as Play4Kay games and were established by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association to honor the late Kay Yow, former North Carolina State University head women's basketball coach, who passed away in 2009, after facing her third bout with breast cancer.
The Feb. 18 game vs. Ancilla begins at 1 p.m. On Feb. 22 at 5:30 p.m., the team takes on Jackson Community College at home. During both games, players will wear specially-designed pink t-shirts. Donation containers will be available throughout the games. Donations for the Pink Zone fundraiser are also accepted before the game and may be made payable the West Michigan Cancer Center or the Terry Gillette Memorial Fund. For more information or to make a donation, contact KVCC Athletic Director Russ Panico, firstname.lastname@example.org or 269-488-4393.