MSUB Women’s Basketball team to visit with breast cancer support group before 'Think Pink' game
January 19, 2016
Emily Brown, Eva Project Coordinator,
Evan O'Kelly, Athletics Communication Director, 657-2130
Carmen Price, University Relations & Communications, 657-2266
MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — The Montana State University Billings Women’s Basketball team will take a break from practice to meet with cancer survivors on Monday evening at St. Vincent Healthcare’s Mansfield Education Center.
The Yellowjackets, led by head coach Kevin Woodin, scheduled the visit in honor of the team’s 10th annual “Think Pink” basketball game, which will be against Western Oregon on Thursday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. in the Alterowitz Gymnasium.
In partnership with St. Vincent Healthcare’s Eva Project, the uniformed effort teams up for breast cancer awareness. All women will be admitted to the game for free as part of the initiative, said Woodin.
“This Think Pink game is about so much more than basketball,” he said. “It’s about celebrating life and showcasing our love and support for these families impacted by this disease.”
The event features information on breast cancer detection, research and local support groups—one of which the team will attend on Monday evening.
The group meets the second Monday of each month from 6:30 to 8 p.m., offering support for those affected by breast cancer, from newly diagnosed to those who have survived the disease.
Alisha Breen, a junior health and human performance major from Choteau, said attending the meeting before the game is powerful and makes a lasting impression on the team.
“Hearing the stories, meeting these incredibly strong women, it just really puts life into perspective,” Breen said. “These are people who have battled through the worst of the worst. And yet, they are so positive, so resilient. It’s inspiring, and is a great reminder to all of us what a bad day really can look like.”
The Think Pink game takes on special meaning for Breen, who witnessed her aunt battle breast cancer. Her uncle also survived cancer.
“Most members of our team have been impacted by cancer,” she said. “The game is always very important to our team. We play for so much more than ourselves or the college. It’s a game played for all those affected by cancer.”
On Thursday, Yellowjacket players and coaching staff will honor the women of the support group during the game with pink T-shirts and flowers.
Players and coaching staff will wear pink uniforms and community members are encouraged to wear pink as well. T-shirts are for sale for $20, which includes admission to the game. All proceeds will benefit the Eva Project.
“This really is one of our favorite games each year,” Woodin said. “Most everyone has been impacted by cancer, so our team understands the significance of the cause we are supporting.”
This year’s game will be particularly special, Woodin said, because for the first time ROOT Sports will be broadcasting live from the team’s home gym.
“We hope to have a lot of community support for the cause as well as the live game that will broadcast in the Northwest region,” Woodin said.
The “Think Pink” initiative is an effort started by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s nation of coaches to assist in raising cancer awareness on the court, across college campuses, in communities and beyond.
One of the key messages to be carried by players and the healthcare community on Thursday night is early detection. Through mammograms, breast cancer can be identified and successfully treated.
The St. Vincent Healthcare Mobile Mammography Coach will be parked outside Alterowitz Gymnasium on the Pink Zone game night to provide women with free mammogram screenings. The screening takes as little as 15 minutes and images are sent to a board-certified radiologist for review. Results are mailed to women and their healthcare providers in less than two weeks.
For more information on the “Think Pink Game Night” contact MSU Billings Athletics at 657-2310.