The battle against cancer is one that's on-going nationwide.
Once again, basketball coaches all over the United States - both at the collegiate and high school level - are doing their part.
Locally, the Urologic Research Institute of the Schiffler Cancer Center at Wheeling Hospital, along with the American Cancer Center, is spearheading the Coaches vs. Cancer initiative in the Ohio Valley.
"By using the celebrity of basketball and its participants, Coaches vs. Cancer has raised in excess of $85 million for American Cancer Society research and patient assistance programs," said Dr. Gregory Merrick of the Schiffler Cancer Center. "Importantly, these funds help support our local families in their time of need."
The Coaches vs. Cancer program was established in 1993 and calls for coaches to wear sneaker with their dress pants or normal coaching attire rather than dress shoes.
The effort has been a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
According to a release on the program, the goal is to "empower local communities, basketball coaches and their teams to impact the fight against cancer."
In the Ohio Valley, the Coaches vs. Cancer actually got under way Wednesday in the Wheeling Central vs. John Marshall boys game.
On Thursday, Bridgeport held a program in its girls' game against Beallsville. Lady Bulldogs' head coach Rob Zitzelsberger wore pink shoes and the players wore pink socks.
All told, 13 area games will hold a Coaches vs. Cancer game with four slated for tonight, weather permitting.
The annual showdown between Wheeling Jesuit and West Liberty, slated for Saturday at the McDonough Center, will also have all four coaches wearing tennis shoes.
The complete schedule of games is as follows:
High School Boys
Brooke at John Marshall
Wheeling Central at Linsly
Zanesville at Wheeling Park
Edison at Indian Creek
Madonna at Bishop Donahue
Wheeling Central at Shadyside
TBD (Based on make-up dates)
Madonna at Bridgeport
St. Clairsville at Buckeye Local
High School Girls
University at Shadyside
Wheeling Central at Wheeling Park
Magnolia at Oak Glen
St. Clairsville at Buckeye Local (Based on make-up dates)
West Liberty at Wheeling Jesuit, women at 2; men at 4.
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