Feb 18, 2013, 1:36 PM EDT
The Notre Dame women’s basketball team has made many efforts throughout all of February to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer. February is a special month for breast cancer awareness because World Cancer Day falls on Feb. 4. In honor of this recognition, the women’s basketball team, along with the Notre Dame College of Science, has supported the two Pink Zone Spin-A-Thons on Jan. 25-Jan. 27 at the Rockne Memorial Gym and Knollwood Country Club, as well as the Pink Zone Dodgeball tournament on Jan. 30 at Rolfs Sports Recreation Center.
In addition, the team played its official Pink Zone game at Purcell Pavilion against Cincinnati on Feb. 2 in order to directly show its support for all those struggling in the fight against breast cancer and its support of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, who founded the Pink Zone initiative. On Sunday, Feb. 17, the team continued its support of Pink Zone in its game against Marquette.
Notre Dame and Marquette united in their support of the official charity of Pink Zone, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, as both squads donned pink jerseys and accessories during their “Play 4Kay” game. Since this match-up was a “Play 4Kay” meeting, this meant that both teams were honoring and remembering not only all those struggling with breast cancer, but Coach Kay Yow in particular.
Kay Yow was the women’s basketball coach at North Carolina State University from 1975 until 2009, when she died of breast cancer. She was initially diagnosed in 1987, but despite her diagnosis, she continued her coaching of women’s basketball throughout her three separate battles with breast cancer. Though Yow may have passed on, she left a legacy of community and service behind. Coach Yow believed that all of the women’s basketball coaches shared more than just a professional career, they also shared the same basketball and coaching community. As such, she united with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and rallied the coaches together to start in the fight against breast cancer. As a result of this effort, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund was officially founded in 2007.
The Notre Dame women’s basketball team began actively supporting Coach Yow’s cause from the very beginning, with its fifth annual Pink Zone game against Cincinnati taking place earlier this season. Notre Dame women’s basketball not only supports the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, but much of the money that the team helps to raise is donated locally to the Foundation of St. Joseph Regional Medical Center’s Women’s Task Force.
The Irish takes the fight against breast cancer to the next level, and the team’s strength and perseverance in this battle is exemplified on the court by its gameplay during Pink Zone games. The Notre Dame women shut down Cincinnati in a 64-42 win over the Bearcats on Feb. 2 at home, and then they continued their dominant Pink Zone play two weeks later on the road against Marquette with an 87-49 win over the Golden Eagles. Thank you, Notre Dame women’s basketball, for your unceasing support in the fight against breast cancer!
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