Nevada Wolf Pack men’s basketball going pink to support cancer fight
College basketball coaches across the nation teamed up with the American Cancer Association all the way back in 1993 to raise money in the fight against the deadly disease.
Usually, coaches will wear tennis shoes at certain games, and this week, Nevada’s men’s basketball team gets involved.
When Nevada takes the floor for its two Mountain West Conference basketball games this week at Boise State on Wednesday and at home Saturday against New Mexico, it will be sporting brand-new pink uniforms which were purchased through the generosity of Don Weir of Reno Dodge.
“Coach Muss (Eric Musselman) got a hold of us a few months ago, and asked if we’d be interested in buying pink uniforms for the guys to show cancer awareness,” Weir said before Monday’s practice. “First of all, I’ve had a lot of cancer in my family. My sister-in-law just died this past week from cancer, so it’s hitting me hard. This makes people aware of what a debilitating and dangerous disease this is.”
Musselman was understandably appreciative of Weir’s gesture.
“What Don has done is incredible,” Musselman said. “It’s really meaningful and powerful. We’re more than thankful to have another uniform our guys can wear. Not only is it another uniform, but it has meaning behind it. Of all of the uniforms we have, this is one that is unique and has a great message.”
Musselman said most adults have been affected directly or indirectly by the killer disease.
“My father died of amyloid, which is a form of cancer,” Musselman said. “Almost everybody who is over the age of 30 has been affected in some way, shape or form.
“My wife’s mom has had breast cancer. It’s important to us. My wife and I have tried to be involved locally to fight against cancer, and it’s a week the coaches association has put a special emphasis on, and we’re happy our team has partaken in it.”
Two players — DJ Fenner and Leland King II — have had family members and/or close friends die of cancer.
“A good friend of mine named Josh Dickerson died in high school,” Fenner said. “My grandfather died of lung cancer. My aunt is battling cancer right now. It means a lot to me.”
King lost his grandmother and great-grandmother to the disease.
“It’s very tough at times, especially when you first find out when people get it,” King said. “Not only do you have to worry about how you feel, you have to worry about how they feel.”
King was happy to see the pink uniforms.
“I’m a big fan of pink,” King said. “I used to wear pink socks (on the court). My coach didn’t like it, but he let me get away with it. .”
Musselman said the final decision was up to the players.
“We always put it in the player’s laps,” Musselman said. “The athletes play the game, not the coaches or administration.”