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Coaches vs. Cancer: Raising awareness and money

by Karin L. Nauber


It’s a word that scares most of us. It is certainly a word that we don’t like.

About 25 years ago, Norm Stewart, the former head coach of the University of Missouri’s men’s basketball team and member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches provided the vision and inspiration for the Coaches vs. Cancer conception.

Stewart is himself a cancer survivor.

According to the American Cancer Society website, Stewart “challenged fans to pledge a dollar amount for every 3-point shot made by his team during the season. The concept evolved and soon the Coaches vs. Cancer program became a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the NABC.”

Since then, the program has united coaches and fans nationwide to help defeat a common enemy—cancer.

Browerville/Eagle Valley Boys Basketball Coach Bob Schueller heard about the Coaches vs. Cancer program through the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association.

“The first year we took some donations at the door and had people write the name of someone [they had] lost to cancer, or who was fighting cancer, on a paper brick and put them on the wall.  That was our original ‘Build A Wall Against Cancer.’ We lost Coach [Mark] Perkins about a month later,” said Schueller.

The next year the donations grew as they continued the same format as the previous year. 

“In the third year, we added the sale of T-shirts, and a raffle,” he said.

“The school district has always agreed to allow those who purchased a T-shirt to get into the games free,” added Schueller.

Since expanding to these two ideas and then adding in some in-game activities such as split-the-pot, halftime shoot, a bingo game, guessing jar, and more, they have never made less than $2100. . .

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