Student basketball tournament to support fight against cancer

Nikolas Baksh

The squeak of sneakers filled the air behind Sullivan Hall on Oct. 4 as more than 100 students gathered to support the fight against cancer by playing in the three-on-three Coaches vs. Cancer basketball tournament organized by the Basketball Club Executive Board.

The tournament had 27 registered teams with a total of 120 participants.

It raised over $750 to donate to Coaches vs. Cancer, which is Head Coach Jay Wright’s charity of choice, according to Aileen Iorio, secretary of Basketball Club executive board.Coaches vs. Cancer is a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

The collaboration depends on the personal achievement and leadership of basketball coaches to increase awareness and promote both advocacy and fundraising campaigns. All fundraising efforts, such as this three-on-three tournament, support the endeavors of the American Cancer Society.

The American Cancer Society is the largest nongovernmental funder of cancer research in America. The not-for-profit foundation depends on grass root efforts such as this tournament to fund cancer research. According to its Web site, the foundation spends $130 million a year on cancer research and has been involved in almost every cancer breakthrough in the last century.

A few more of its functions include a quit-smoking counseling service, providing support and lodging for those undergoing treatment, and helping low income or underinsured women get breast and cervical cancer screens.

In addition to raising money to support the American Cancer Society, the tournament brought basketball players from all corners of Villanova together for a chance to test their skills against one another.

Established seniors as well as upstart freshmen brought their A-game with the hopes of reaching the championship round.

The final round will be played at Hoops Mania, Villanova’s highly anticipated kickoff to the basketball season.

The first game featured two-time defending champions, aptly named Three-peat, pitted against a team of freshmen looking to make a name for themselves.

And they did make quite a name in a game reminiscent of the 1986 NBA playoffs, when sophomore Michal Jordan’s Chicago Bulls pushed Larry Bird and the dominant Boston Celtics to their limit.

The two teams drew the attention of everyone present in a thriller that ended with the defending champions squeaking by with a 15-13 point victory.

Three-peat will get the chance to defend its title against the Titans on Oct. 23 at Hoops Mania.