Sept. 22, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. - The St. John's men's and women's basketball teams joined forces with the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) on Saturday, Sept. 22 for the second-annual St. John's Dribble For The Cure, an event that welcomed more than 400 members of the STJ community and raised more than $25,000 for pediatric cancer research in the New York City area.
The star-studded event featured special appearances from St. John's Hall of Fame coaches Lou Carnesecca and Jack Kaiser as well as 14-year NBA veteran and former New York Knick John Starks.
"We have a great team of people within our Athletic Department that work tirelessly at building and promoting not only the brands of the St. John's Athletics Department and basketball programs, but also programs like Dribble For The Cure," remarked head coach Steve Lavin. "As the word continues to spread about this worthy cause and people tie it into a fun day here at St. John's, it is only natural that that the momentum will continue to grow."
"This is a great event for not only our players, but the entire community here at St. John's and we're really excited to be a part of it," said head coach Joe Tartemella. "This is a chance for our players to put a smile on a child's face and help a great cause and I think that's what this day is all about."
Prior to the opening ceremony, participants enjoyed a festival with food and games as well as performances from the St. John's pep band, and both the cheer and dance squads. Head coaches Lavin and Tartamella, PCRF Associate Director of Development Rosanna Capalbo and her brother, John, a cancer survivor, and Starks then took the stage to provide opening remarks.
Lavin and Tartamella and their respective coaching staffs and players then led the dribble, a 30-minute run/walk around campus, before everyone headed into Carnesecca Arena. After introductions of both the 2012-13 men's and women's squads, John Vallely
, a UCLA men's basketball Hall of Famer, Dribble For The Cure spokesperson and PCRF board member, provided closing remarks.
"St. John's has always promoted philanthropy, so this is the perfect venue for Dribble For The Cure," said Vallely. "Everybody was very excited about the event again this year and my hope is that we continue to make this cause more widely known and raise even more money to eradicate this disease."
Funds raised at the event will once again support Dr. Mitchell S. Cairo at the PCRF Laboratory at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at New York Medical College. A world-renowned researcher, Dr. Cairo's work has contributed to dramatically increased survival rates of childhood cancers, blood disorders and immunological diseases.
About St. John's Men's Basketball
Lavin's returning core includes BIG EAST All-Rookie team member D'Angelo Harrison, combo guard Phil Greene, swingmen Sir'Dominic Pointer and Amir Garrett, and big man God'sgift Achiuwa. Its nationally-ranked No. 8 recruiting class is comprised of eight standout student-athletes representing five countries, with many who played in the New York area in the past several seasons. The elite group includes West African guard Felix Balamou, French shooter and playmaker Marc-Antoine Bourgault, Texas A&M transfer point guard Jamal Branch, sharpshooting Harvard transfer Max Hooper, stalwart power forward Christian Jones, top 20 Nigerian center Chris Obekpa, 2011-12 New England Preparatory School Athletic Council AAA Player of the Year and National Prep Championship Tournament MVP JaKarr Sampson and Dominican-born JUCO All-America forward Orlando Sanchez.
About St. John's Women's Basketball
With a newly-hired head coach in Tartamella, the 2012-13 Red Storm squad returns four starters, eight letterwinners and 79 percent of its scoring from its 2011-12 team that posted a 24-10 overall record and advanced to the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. The 2011-12 Red Storm also enjoyed a No. 3 seed, a program best, and finished second in the BIG EAST Conference (13-3) after being picked to finish seventh in the league's preseason poll. St. John's defeated six ranked opponents and finished the season ranked No. 13/15 in the national polls. The 2012-13 Red Storm, led by senior WBCA All-Region standouts Nadirah McKenith and Shenneika Smith, along with seasoned-veterans Eugeneia McPherson and 2012 BIG EAST All-Rookie selection Amber Thompson, is ranked No. 12 in the Lindy's preseason rankings.
About the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF)
PCRF was established in 1982 to improve the care, quality of life and survival rate of children with malignant diseases. Since 1982, PCRF's dedicated volunteers have raised almost $30 million for pediatric cancer research. All funds raised from the St. John's Dribble for the Cure event will go directly to support the vital research of Mitchell S. Cairo, M.D. and the PCRF Research Laboratory at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at New York Medical College in the fight against pediatric cancer and other lethal blood disorders.
PCRF is an independent, nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of community and business leaders, as well as parents of oncology patients. The Foundation is privately supported by donations from individuals, charitable foundations and businesses. PCRF also raises funds through sales of its holiday/everyday line of cards designed by children with cancer. A dedicated group of volunteers donate their time and talents to ensure that over 80 percent of funds raised go directly to pediatric cancer research.