A behind-the-scenes look at the coaches of the 2012 Acura Coaches vs. Cancer Classic

Nov 09, 2012 - Posted by Kyle Chilton on November 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Updated: November 9, 2012 4:28 pm

BYU, Florida State, Notre Dame, Saint Joseph’s compete November 16 & 17 at Barclays Center

BROOKLYN, NY (November 8, 2012) – Ready for college basketball? The American Cancer Society is kicking off the season in a big way — with the 18th Annual Acura Coaches vs. Cancer Classic!  This November, fans have the opportunity to see their favorite teams in action, and at a new home. Opened in September 2012, Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be the host of this season’s Classic championship rounds, featuring four regional host teams — BYU, Florida State, Notre Dame and Saint Joseph’s.  

While fans will flock to Barclay’s to support their favorite team, the Acura Coaches vs. Cancer Classic also gives attendees the opportunity to support the American Cancer Society’s lifesaving mission of creating a world with less cancer and more birthdays. Since 1993, Coaches vs. Cancer, a partnership between the American Cancer Society and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), has helped raise more than $85 million through advocacy and fundraising programs. Communities are empowered to join alongside these two organizations to fund cancer research and help the Society provide the most up-to-date cancer information and support for cancer patients and their caregivers. Additionally, in support of the Brooklyn community’s ongoing rebuilding efforts in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, attendees are encouraged to text "REDCROSS" to 90999 during the event to donate ten dollars for local relief efforts.

Each head coach participating in this year’s Classic at Barclays has a personal connection to the cause. Here is a behind-the-scenes look at what motivates Coach Dave Rose, Coach Phil Martelli, Coach Mike Brey and Coach Leonard Hamilton, honest and off the court: 

Coach Dave Rose, BYU

Head Coach Dave Rose has a powerful connection to not only the Coaches vs. Cancer program, but to the disease itself: he is a cancer survivor. Coach Rose has been involved in Coaches vs. Cancer for more than 20 years and currently serves as a chair of the National Coaches vs. Cancer Council. He is also involved with the Children with Cancer Christmas Foundation and in Relay For Life of Provo, Utah. His unmatched determination and ability to beat the odds of this disease make him a source of inspiration to the BYU family.

“This is a great opportunity for our team to play in a fantastic tournament while supporting a cause that is very important to me,” says Rose. “It’s inspiring to be involved with a group of coaches that are so passionate about trying to raise awareness and find a cure to this disease.” 

VIDEO: Coach Dave Rose discusses his cancer diagnosis and treatment

ARTICLE: On the road to recovery with Coach Dave Rose

PHOTOS: Coach Dave Rose at Relay For Life of Provo, Utah (Photo 1 and Photo 2)    

Coach Phil Martelli, Saint Joseph’s University

Head Coach Phil Martelli has been involved with Coaches vs. Cancer since 1996.  His involvement has been commended with several awards including the Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award.  Coach Martelli currently serves as a chair of the National Coaches vs. Cancer Council. He and Coach Fran Dunphry of Temple University also co-chair the Philly 6, the Philadelphia Coaches vs. Cancer program.

Coach Martelli has personally been affected by cancer through the recent loss of his brother-in-law, and has hope that one day cancer will be a thing of the past. “I consider it an honor for Saint Joseph’s to be invited to participate in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic,” said Coach Martelli.  “My passions are my family, my team and Coaches vs. Cancer, with the dream being that if not us, that our children or our children’s children will someday see the headline ‘Cancer Free.’  And at that point in time, championships and wins and losses will pale in comparison and a worldwide celebration will take place.”

VIDEO: Coach Phil Martelli and the Saint Joseph's Hawks Take Part in the Acura Coaches vs. Cancer Classic

PHOTOS: Coach Phil Martelli at Basket Ball and on the court (Photo 1 and Photo 2)

Coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame

Head Coach Mike Brey has been extensively involved with Coaches vs. Cancer since 1994, and has helped raise more than $2 million for the program.  In 2003, Coach Brey became a national board member of the Coaches vs. Cancer Council and received the Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award by the Council and the NABC.  In 2009, Coach Brey participated in the Society’s Action Network Leadership Summit & Lobby Day, lobbying on Capitol Hill in support of health care reform and increased funding for cancer research.  

On a personal note, Coach Brey’s father is a cancer survivor, and the program is very close to his heart. “On behalf of Notre Dame, I am honored to be committed to such a powerful organization,” said Coach Brey. “The time and dedication that individuals and teams put forth to such an incredible cause will one day be the reason why cancer is defeated.”

VIDEO: Coach Mike Brey discusses his 2012 Coaches vs. Cancer gold outing fund raiser

ARTICLE: Brey Helping Spread Cancer Awareness Through Coaches vs. Cancer Fundraisers

PHOTO: Mike Brey headshot (Photo 1)

Coach Leonard Hamilton, Florida State

Head Coach Leonard Hamilton also has a strong connection to cancer – he has lost two brothers to this terrible disease.  He and his team are proud to take part in this year’s tournament because of the magnitude to which cancer affects the community.

“When you look around our society you see so many people affected in one way or another by this dreaded disease. In my mind, I’ve always wanted to contribute as much as possible to the fight,” said Coach Hamilton. “We’re using the game we have all benefited from in so many ways to highlight the battle we are facing and to come together against cancer.” 

But for Coach Hamilton, the experience is also about his players, and providing them with an experience that provides tough competition and deep meaning.  “This experience will raise the player’s consciousness about things they will be able to do later on in life,” he said.

VIDEO: Coach Leonard Hamilton: 2012 Coaches vs. Cancer

ARTICLE: Coach Leonard Hamilton: The Game Changer

PHOTO: Coach Leonard Hamilton press conference and on the court (Photo 1 and Photo 2)

The Acura Coaches vs. Cancer Classic will include a total of twelve NCAA college basketball teams.  Regional round action will take place from November 9 to November 13.  On Friday, November 16 at 7:00 p.m., the Semifinal Doubleheader will feature Brigham Young vs. Florida State, followed by Notre Dame vs. Saint Joseph’s.  The Championship Doubleheader will take place Saturday, November 17 at 7:00 p.m. with a consolation game followed by the championship game.  The remainder of the tournament will consist of a round-robin series featuring Buffalo, Evansville, Georgia State, Monmouth, South Alabama, Tennessee State, Western Illinois and Yale.

[For a complete schedule of game times and matchups, click here]

The Acura Coaches vs. Cancer Classic is produced by Blue Ridge Sports & Entertainment, Inc. and will be aired by Turner Sports on truTV.  For a complete schedule of games or for more information about the Classic and how to purchase tickets for the event, please visit http://www.cvcclassic.com/. To get more updates and learn about the Acura Coaches vs. Cancer Classic via social media, follow the CVC Classic on Facebook or tweet @CVCClassic.

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end cancer for good. As a global grassroots force of three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping you stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early, helping you get well by being there for you during and after a diagnosis, by finding cures through groundbreaking discovery and fighting back through public policy. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.8 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, an estimated 13.7 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

About Coaches vs. Cancer

Coaches vs. Cancer is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) that empowers basketball coaches, their teams, and local communities to make a difference in the fight against cancer. 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. Since 1993, the initiative has raised more than $85 million to fund groundbreaking research, provide up-to-date cancer literacy, advocate for public health policies, and deliver services to improve the quality of life for patients and their families. To learn more, visit coachesvscancer.org.