Men’s College Basketball Teams Hit the Hardwoods in 2003 Coaches vs. Cancer Basketball Classic

American Cancer Society
Wednesday, 12 November 2003

Schools Support the American Cancer Society's Fight Against Cancer

New York City once again will roll out the red carpet for the start of the 2003-04 NCAA Division I men's basketball regular season. On November 13 and 14, 2003, Madison Square Garden will host the eighth annual Coaches vs. Cancer Classic®, offering spectators and fans some of the most exciting college basketball in the country. Teams from Alabama, Gonzaga, Marquette, Memphis, Pittsburgh, St. John's, Saint Joseph's and Wake Forest are shooting it out in the fight against cancer to benefit the nation's leading voluntary health organization, the American Cancer Society.

The first tip-off will take place at 7 p.m. (EST) on November 13, 2003 when Memphis faces Wake Forest. 2003 Final Four entrant Marquette will play 2003 NIT Champion St. John's in the nightcap. On Friday night, Big East defending champion Pittsburgh will face Alabama at 7 p.m. (EST), followed by Gonzaga against Saint Joseph's. All four games will be televised on ESPN2.

For the second straight year, the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic will feature eight teams, each playing one game, in a "showcase" style event, rather than the tournament format used in previous years. Last year's Coaches vs. Cancer Classic field included three eventual Final Four teams from the 2003 NCAA tournament – Marquette, Texas, and eventual national champions, Syracuse.

Coaches vs. Cancer, a collaboration between the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the American Cancer Society, was formed to leverage the strength, community leadership and celebrity of our country's basketball coaches. Through the efforts of more than 500 basketball coaches and the American Cancer Society, more than $20 million has been raised since 1993. The money raised supports the Society's efforts in research, education, advocacy and service in communities nationwide.

"So many basketball coaches have dedicated themselves to the Coaches vs. Cancer program," said Gary J. Streit, national volunteer chairman of the American Cancer Society Board of Directors. "Their leadership, commitment and support are instrumental in strengthening our cause."

With programs such as Coaches vs. Cancer, the American Cancer Society works to offer hope, progress and answers to individuals touched by cancer. Through their association, basketball coaches are helping build a cancer-free future in many inventive ways in their own communities, including:

  • Presenting healthy lifestyle education programs during their summer basketball camps and appearances at elementary schools
  • Serving as advocates for tobacco legislation
  • Visiting cancer patients to offer hopeful and compassionate messages during their fight against cancer
  • Seeking pledges from individuals and businesses to benefit the American Cancer Society
  • Creating fundraising events such as tip-off breakfasts, "Basket Ball" galas and "Coaches vs. Cancer Nights" during their home seasons
  • Participating in various high-profile events such as the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic and the Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Invitational.

"Coaches vs. Cancer is truly dedicated to making a difference in the fight against cancer," said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. "The commitment from participating coaches and their schools, American Cancer Society volunteers and fans, has made the future even brighter for all those facing cancer."

For more information, or to contact American Cancer Society, see their website at:

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