Men's Basketball

    Coaches vs. Cancer Tips Off Basektball Season

    Go Hoosiers! Coach Kelvin Sampson auctions off an item to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Coach Kelvin Sampson auctions off an item to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Oct. 12, 2007

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    Bloomington, Indiana - A crowd of 200 gathered in Assembly Hall on Friday Morning to attend the first ever Coaches vs. Cancer Breakfast at Indiana University. IU Head Coach Kelvin Sampson provided a glimpse of the upcoming season and was joined by a variety of speakers and former IU players who offered powerful messages about beating this dreadful disease.


    Opening Day With Coach Sampson An American Cancer Society Coaches vs. Cancer Event

    Joe Smith, Master of Ceremonies
    "When I was approached to be apart of Opening Day, I didn't hesitate to be here and help Coach Sampson kick off this inaugural event. Four months ago we lost an admirable man in Terry Hoeppner - much more than a football coach, one heck of an individual, a man of conviction, a man with a vision to play 13, a molder of young men and student-athletes, and I know all of you will be cheering us on when that travel squad leaves later today for East Lansing and tomorrow night's ballgame against Michigan State."

    "Opening Day With Coach Sampson marks the first time Coaches vs. Cancer has come to Indiana. This all began 14 years ago as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The program joins coaches nationwide in providing help and hope to all people facing cancer. Right now, we have approximately 500 divisions and three college coaches that have now raised nearly $40 million to support the American Cancer Society's mission since the program's inception 14 years ago. Our own Kelvin Sampson, a member of the national Coaches vs. Cancer council was heavily involved in the program when he was head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners and certainly, his determination to introduce Coaches vs. Cancer to the Hoosier Basketball tradition has brought us here this morning."



    Kenneth P. Nephew, Ph.D., American Cancer Society-funded researcher
    "There will be about 178,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed and about 40,000 women will die from that disease this year alone. There is about a 12 percent chance of a woman developing breast cancer in her life, which is about one-in-eight women will develop this disease. So, where is the hope here? Well, despite these statistics, the incidence in death from breast cancer has decreased by two percent per year since 1990. That's remarkable and a great winning streak for cancer research. That decline can be attributed to many things, including early detection, but also to better breast cancer treatment."

    "What you fund locally here on campus, helps train students and stays not only here, but we also reach out to other universities and other collaborators with our work to form strong collaborations. Our goal is to take our findings in the laboratory to the clinic. On campus, we are in the beginning stages of developing a cancer biology program. We will hire up to eight cancer biologists here on campus within the next six to eight years. The search is ongoing and we would love to be able establish Bloomington as a base of cancer research and reach out to Indianapolis and other universities to translate those findings into a successful clinical approach."

    Brenda Davis, American Cancer Society and Cancer Active Network member
    "I am so honored to be here with you today. I live in Mitchell and I am an American Cancer Society volunteer. I've been a caregiver to family members and I've watched cancer take the life of our family members. I've watched cancer take the life of my close friends. And cancer tried to take my life. I am a cancer survivor. Just like you, I thought it couldn't happen to me. I was healthy. I was younger. I had no family history. There was no reason cancer would ever happen to me. I found a lump and I didn't even go the doctor. I just tried to ignore it because I didn't believe it would happen to me. But my life was about to change forever. It was true. It happened to me. It was breast cancer and by the time I had decided to go the doctor, it had spread to nine limp nodes. So it started four rounds of chemo, seven weeks of radiation, four more rounds of chemo and after that an additional year of a chemo drug that was new at the time. I had two years of my life dedicated to cancer treatment and trying to survive. It was an aggressive cancer in my lymph nodes. If you think back, it wasn't that many years ago that people wouldn't survive in that situation. But thanks to the research and the new drugs and advance procedures we have, I am one of the lucky ones. I fought cancer and I won."

    "We are winning the battle against cancer and I'm living proof that's happening. But we have so much to do. Until there is no more suffering from cancer and until there is a cure, I feel our work is not complete. That is why I am proud to be one of the thousands of volunteers across the country and a member of the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). ACS CAN affords us greater flexibility and leverage with our legislatures in the efforts to fight and win the battle against cancer in congress, at the state capitol and even our local city halls. Because of the American Cancer Society's non-profit status and IRS guidelines, they are unable to lobby policy-makers to the fullest extent. That's where ACS CAN comes in. Through the ACS CAN, we add muscle to our lobbying efforts. The more ACS CAN grows, the more powerful out voice becomes and the more the elected officials will listen to us, the more live we will ultimately save."

    Tom Abernathy, Former Player - Video Message
    "I would like to thank Coach Sampson for allowing me to be a part of this morning's activities. I'm sorry that I can't be there in person, but I wanted to personally thank him for how he has reached out to me and the other former players that have represented Indiana University. I'm quite excited about what Coach Sampson brings to IU and look forward very much to this season and plan on being apart of this season as a fan as often as possible sitting right behind the bench."

    "I'm glad that you guys are here today to support, not only Indiana University basketball, but the American Cancer Society. This past week, a friend of mine Galen Dolby passed away. Galen was scheduled to speak today. Galen was a man of god, a man that I truly admired. I was to thank the American Cancer Society for all that they do, all of the research that they do and the hard work that goes on to allow cancer patients to live fruitful, full lives. A life that I witnessed first-hand as I watched my friend Galen Dolby spend an incredible five years. I was overwhelmed by the passion that Galen Dolby lived his life as he sought to encourage the spiritual lives of many basketball players over the past few years and how he impacted not only my life, but so many that came in contact with him. Coach Sampson, thank you for giving me this opportunity and thank you to the American Cancer Society for all of the hard work that they are doing. Keep up the great work that both of your organizations are doing and I would just like to give my wishes to all of the people that are here this morning. Thank you very much."

    Laura Dolby, caregiver
    "Thank you so much for being here today. Galen had planned to be here, but as Tom said, cancer took his life a week ago Wednesday, on Oct. 3. So today, I'm going to be sharing with you the words that Galen had wanted to say. First of all, I want to thank you Coach Sampson for being on the National Association of Basketball Coaches Council for the Coaches vs. Cancer and supporting this American Cancer Society event for cancer research. Since 1993, this partnership between these two organizations has raised over $40 million toward cancer research. Coach Sampson, I'm glad you're here at IU. I happen to believe you're a phenomenal coach and that we're going to see a couple more banners up on that wall."

    "Galen was a life-long fan of IU basketball. He grew up in Northern Indiana and he would always listen to Don Fischer on the radio if he couldn't get the games on TV. He was able to see the Hoosiers 1976, 1981 and 1987 championship on TV. In 1990, we moved here to Bloomington and our first time at Assembly Hall was to watch Kentucky play and I think we sat two rows from the top. Galen just said, `This is amazing! I'm here!' The place was packed, it was electric, it was a barnburner. IU did win, 77-74, and I think it was Calbert Chaney that had a great game. Galen came to games just as often as he could get tickets. He loved IU basketball. Then a dream came true for Galen a few years later. He was asked to serve as volunteer chaplain for about six years for the team. It was during that time, that Galen's cancer journey started. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 advanced kidney cancer. He had a right kidney removed, along with part of his liver. It was a real shock because he was so healthy. He did all of the right things. That was February of 2002, the IU coaching staff, Tim Garl, B.J. McElroy and the players, they were so supportive."

    "The reason that we are here to speak to you today is what a big fan we are of the American Cancer Society and their funding of cancer research. Just like it takes a tremendous amount of hard work to build a championship IU team, it takes an enormous amount of time, effort, money, skill and research to get an FDA approved new, safe cancer treatment. The average time is 10-15 years and its costs over $800 million per drug. In Galen's case, there was only one FDA approved treatment that can cure kidney cancer, but only it only worked in nine percent of people. Unfortunately, Galen was one of the 91 percent of where it had no response. Following that treatment, we began our pursuit if viable and proper clinical trials. The American Cancer Society were a great resource in helping us and giving us directions in how to proceed with that. So 1-800- ACS-2345 is one that we called often. It provides 24/7 access and availability for assistance to cancer patients and their families. Galen's kidney cancer spread to his lungs, his liver, his bones, his limp nodes, his soft tissue and eventually to his brain. Yet, Galen lived every ounce of life. It was an amazing journey for us as a family, but one no one should ever have to take. We are learning a tremendous amount along the way and the blessings far outweighed the heartache."

    Kelvin Sampson, Indiana head coach
    "We know by ourselves, we won't be the difference, but when I look at each one of you, we can say that we're helping to make a difference. My life changed, as far as helping others, in 1996. Nolan Richardson was the coach at Arkansas and every spring, he would bring a lot of coaches together to Northwest Arkansas to help raise money for charities in that section of the state. Nolan was a good friend of mine, so I would always be on the invite list. I did it because he invited us. We played golf and it was a fellowship with coaches. I never really would think about why we were there, we went because we were invited. At the main banquet that night, the Tyson Chicken Company and the Hunt Brothers Trucking Company were giving all of this money to charities, and there was a Make-A-Wish child there. I don't know that I really looked at him and said we're here to help that young man; we were there because Nolan invited us. But something that Nolan said that night, and I'm going to give Nolan the credit that night he did the invocation. And when he was praying, he said something that really stuck with me. It's amazing how we can here people speak a lot of times, but later we don't remember anything that they said. He said we all want to go to Heaven, but when we get to Heaven, God isn't going to ask any of the coaches how many wins they have, how many championships they had won, that stuff really doesn't matter. The thing that matters the most is did you reach out and help someone. How many people did you help? If you help a person along the way, that's what is most important."

    Brian Evans, former player
    "Thanks Coach Sampson for having me here. This is an honor to be in front of you guys. It's an exciting day. When I see this building, I get excited. When I come in here and I see the banners, I get excited. When I see the floor, I just get excited when I see it. I still get a little bit of jealousy when I see these guys run out of the locker room. I'm fired up for the season. I think Coach Sampson being here is huge. I live up in Indianapolis and there is just a real buzz about this season that I don't think we've had in a long time."

    Kelvin Sampson
    "One of the things that our staff and current players have been really excited about, because when you think about Indiana basketball, its all inclusive. It's not just this team, it's all of our teams. From Coach McCracken, to Coach Knight, to Coach Davis and through the teams that we have here, I think we're a family. We honor each other. We're proud of each other. The way the former players, especially guys like Brian and Kyle, have embraced our program now, is really what to me being a Hoosier is all about."

    Kyle Hornsby, former player
    "I'm honored to be here. Everyone really appreciates this organization coming to Bloomington and Coach Sampson bringing it to Bloomington, and for the IU community supporting it."

    "This is a wonderful time of year. It's the time of year in basketball where all of the players have been doing all of this running and not much of it has been with a basketball in hand and it's not much fun. I can remember thinking how glad I was to finally lace up my shoes knowing that I'm going to go out and compete against all of teammates, it didn't matter who it was. I just wanted to compete against somebody in a five-on-five match. You get tired of doing the four-man workouts and running with out a basketball. I can go back in time and think about that and it brings a smile to my face. I hope tonight, there is a full house. I would love to see that. I think it would be an incredible statement for the IU community and the students to show home much they are anticipating the season, because I know from around state, everybody is asking about it, everybody is talking about it. I think it would show a lot if the house was full tonight. I think there is a lot of potential for this year's team. I think there is going to be great chemistry on this team with a lot of unselfish players with a lot of great talent, and that's a great combination. Coach Sampson and his staff do a wonderful job. I'm proud of how the team performed last year and I think we're bringing a nice shine to the IU reputation and I hope it continues."

    Dan Dakich, former player and Director of Basketball Operations
    "I've learned a few things since I have been here and I want to say that one of the most important things that I have learned is that there are really strong women in this community. As people have said, Indiana basketball is a family. I don't know Kyle Hornsby. I've never met him. I wasn't here when he played, but I know a lot about him. I know he would get in here at six o'clock in the morning and shoot. I know he was a great student and I know he was a great basketball player. As I watched their run when Kyle was playing here, I thought he was an unbelievable ambassador for Indiana University and Indiana basketball as a family. Brian Evans comes here with a redshirt, ends up player of the year in the Big Ten with 21 points a night and a first-round draft pick. Chris Reynolds is here. Guys would say `Chris can't do this, he can't shoot.' All I know is that Chris was the toughest guy that I've ever seen and the best guy that's ever been around off the court. As you go through this, it's a family."

    "Indiana basketball is a team. This is bigger than any one person. There isn't anything like that. Cancer hadn't affected my life until two years ago, my mother, we were in Chicago and she had to have a cancer test and she had stage four cancer. We get a second opinion in Indianapolis they do a very elaborate and dangerous operation on her spine. A doctor comes out and said `Dan, you know all of those fundraising things that you see done for cancer and all of those things that people talk about raising money for cancer,' and I said `Yeah.' He said, `That's what saved your mother's life.' These things matter. The money that was raised over the years of research enabled the doctors to do this particular operation on my mother. Things like this really matter. I am very appreciative for all of you coming out here at 6:30 in the morning and I hope to see you tonight."

    Kelvin Sampson
    "I think it's fair to say that we all love our mothers. We all love our fathers, too. When we get in a pinch, most of us go to our mother. Our mothers always say the right thing. I used to think that my mother could predict the future. In college I was a political science major thinking one day I would be a lawyer. She grabs me my junior year and said `Son you need to major in P.E., you're going to be a coach.' How did my mother know that? Mothers know. My mother had colon cancer and my mother survived. I'm glad my mother survived. It's not always an easy thing. When the American Cancer Society asked me if I would be willing to give my time to raise money for an event like this. Yes, I will. And I'm glad I can. It's not always the person sometime; sometimes it's the position. Being a basketball coach at almost any major college, you have a platform and sometimes you don't choose to use it or you use it for the wrong reasons. It's a great platform to help other people. I like that. Raising money for the American Cancer Society, you know Terry Hoeppner is no longer here. Galen Dolby is no longer here. But maybe we can raise money to save you or to save your family member. That's why we do it. There is no other reason to do it. Most of you had to get up this morning at 4 o'clock. That's a commitment. Sometimes we ask people to get involved. A lot of people don't want to be involved. They want to say maybe next year. We don't have next year. It's now. We're doing a good thing here. We're helping somebody. And at the end of the day, it's just like Nolan Richardson said, it's not how many games you win or how much money you have or nice you're car is, but it's what have you done for other people."


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