Video by JP Raineri, Paul Bandong and Chauncy Miller
The Boy’s and Girl’s basketball coaches and teams in the Southwestern League will be participating in a special Coaches vs. Cancer game to begin on Thursday January 23.
Vista Murrieta Coach Andy Rucker launched the Coaches vs. Cancer game at Vista Murrieta two years ago. Last year all six Southwestern Boys teams participated. This year the Girls teams have joined in as well as the Boys Teams from Elsinore and Heritage.
“The first year it was one single game between Murrieta Valley and Vista Murrieta. Last year we were able to expand and have all 6 of the Southwestern League boy’s teams participate,” said Coach Rucker. “This year we have again expanded and now have all six of the boys teams and all six of the girls teams from the Southwestern League as well as Elsinore boys.”
The Coaches vs. Cancer program is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches that empowers basketball coaches, their teams, and local communities to make a difference in the fight against cancer, according to American Cancer Society.
The program leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and professional excellence of basketball coaches nationwide to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living through year-round awareness efforts, fundraising activities, and advocacy programs.
Through fund-raising efforts, the Broncos were able to donate more than $3,000 to the American Cancer Society last year; Rucker said he hopes to bring in much more than that this year. “With 13 teams we are really hoping to raise some good money” said Rucker. “We have been able to donate just under $7000 over the past 2 years and we are hoping to be able to double to money this year.”
Coaches will be wearing white sneakers with their normal game day attire, which is part of the suits and sneakers program associated with Coaches vs. Cancer. Each of the home gyms will be decorated for the occasion and memory/honors cards will be sold. Each of the teams playing will raffle off a signed game ball.
Part of the proceeds from the concession stands will be donated. At Vista Murrieta, a pair of shoes worn in an LA Lakers game will be auctioned.
On January 23 the games are: Murrieta Mesa at Vista Murrieta, Chaparral at Murrieta Valley, Great Oak at Temecula. The Girls play at 5:15pm and are followed by the Boys at 7pm.
On January 24 the Heritage Boys team will be at Elsinore for the Coaches for Cancer event. Game time is 7:00pm.
Come out and support this worthy cause and catch some exciting high school basketball action Thursday night.