Feb. 24, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. -
When the St. John's and Notre Dame coaching staffs wear blue bow ties on Saturday as the Red Storm and Fighting Irish square off at noon at Madison Square Garden on ESPN2, they're not exactly making a fashion statement. They are making a statement about cancer, however - as coaches for both squads are participating in ON THE LINE's national "Statement Week," wearing blue bow ties to help raise awareness for prostate cancer.
"This weekend both St. John's and Notre Dame coaching staffs will wear stylish blue bow ties for On The Line's prostate cancer awareness week," said St. John's head coach Steve Lavin. "My father Cappy Lavin is now a 21 year prostate cancer survivor. And as a result of my successful prostate cancer surgery on Oct 6, 2011, I'm now cancer free. It is critical that men have annual checkups to find out their PSA score. Early detection can save lives."
"Cancer, in one form or another affects the lives of so many individuals. It has my family as well," said Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey. "This week's initiative, spearheaded by the Black Coaches Association of America, to raise national awareness of prostate cancer is just another step toward helping to wipe out cancer. It also hits home when many in our coaching fraternity have battled prostate cancer. It has certainly heightened my awareness and the important prevention steps to take."
Following successful surgery to treat prostate cancer on Oct. 6, Lavin continues to follow a modified schedule with regard to his coaching duties. Lavin coached in four games this season (2-2) including two games at The Garden against ranked competition as part of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer on Nov. 17 and 18. He continues to perform coast-to-coast and local recruiting, media and other head coaching responsibilities. Lavin's efforts helped land former Texas A&M freshman point guard, former Top 50 Class of 2011 prospect and the No. 8 prep point guard in the nation, Jamal Branch, who practices with the team and will be eligible to suit up for the Red Storm in December of 2012.
What is ON THE LINE?
ON THE LINE is a national prostate cancer awareness and education campaign that challenges men to take charge of their health. ON THE LINE draws on the expertise of an independent panel of prostate cancer physicians from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the professional group representing the 30,000+ cancer doctors in the US.
What is Statement Week?
The Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA) and ON THE LINE have teamed up during Black History Month to raise awareness of prostate cancer among African American men. During Statement Week, more than 80 NCAA Division 1 Men's Basketball head coaches from 30 different conferences, will be wearing bow ties and ON THE LINE buttons during their games to show their support. All eyes are on college basketball right now, so we have a great opportunity to get the word out.
What is the message behind Statement Week? One in five African American men is diagnosed with prostate cancer
African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than other ethnic groups and are two times more likely to die from the disease
Prostate cancer accounts for 40 percent of all new cancers diagnosed in African-American men
It's so important to educate men about prostate cancer and make a statement about men's health. The statistics are alarming:
When is Statement Week?
Statement Week is February 18th through 26th.
What is the significance of the bow tie?
Blue is the official prostate cancer awareness color. The blue bow ties are easy for people to see, both at the games and on TV.