Hoops raise awareness for breast cancer

By Priscilla Howell

According to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts and Figures for 2010, an estimated 739,940 women will be diagnosed with cancer in 2010, and over half of these cancer patients will receive chemotherapy.

This Thursday, the Iota Sigma chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., wishes to combat self-esteem issues related to cancer treatments, such as hair loss.

Alpha Kappa Alpha will be hosting their second annual Hoop for the Cause event in effort to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Feel Good…Look Better program.

“[Hoop for the Cause] is an annual basketball tournament for women, which raises funds to buy wigs for breast cancer patients,” said Joy Priest, a committee member for the event.

The basketball tournament this year consists of nine 3-on-3 teams made up of women who attend UK. o To help raise money, each team has a required registration fee. Furthermore, every spectator is asked to donate a minimum of one dollar upon entry, which will go towards the program.

“Last year [Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.] donated 16 wigs and our goal for this year is to donate 21. This is just a portion of what we are doing. AKA’s all over the central region will be bringing their wigs in March for regionals in Lexington next year,” Hoop for the Cause activities chair, Krishawnda Allen said.

Along with approximately 50 participants and volunteers who will partake in the event, including players, score keepers and referees, UK men’s basketball head coach John Calipari will be making a special appearance at the event Thursday evening.

“I enjoyed [participating], it was a nice way to meet new people, a nice experience and way to get out,” Simone Lemaster said, a former participant who played in the first annual Hoop for the Cause event last year. “My grandma had breast cancer so this was a nice way to give back.”

The event is just a portion of what the Iota Sigma chapter at UK wants to accomplish for breast cancer awareness. Hoop for the Cause is just one event in the annual breast cancer awareness week.

“Come out and support the event, but come and support the [breast cancer awareness] week and be on the lookout for [Hoop for the Cause] next year,” Priest said.