Oct. 5, 2011
QUEENS, N.Y. - St. John's University head men's basketball coach Steve Lavin will undergo surgery on Thursday at the world-renowned Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York to treat his prostate cancer. Lavin will have the condition treated this week and is expected to resume his coaching responsibilities with the Red Storm after a recovery period.
"The advantage of early detection is that we were afforded the time to research all options," said Lavin, 47. "After weighing treatment options with the experts at Sloan we have decided surgery is the best path to take for my particular prostate cancer condition. We are confident that this course of treatment will lead to a cancer-free life."
"We have consulted with Steve and his family about his options, and are confident that surgery is the best option Steve has to make a smooth, quick and full recovery from his relatively low-grade cancer," said Peter T. Scardino, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. "It is highly likely that this treatment will completely cure Coach Lavin's condition, and because of his age and overall health, we anticipate a full return to his coaching duties."
St. John's announced in early April that Lavin was diagnosed with an early stage of the disease in the Fall of 2010. After more than a year of continuing normal coaching duties while pursuing a physician-recommended course of active surveillance, Lavin will now change his treatment path to surgery later this week.
For the past decade, Lavin has been highly involved with both Coaches vs. Cancer and The V Foundation for Cancer Research, participating in numerous fundraising and awareness events. For seven years, he has been a part of the President's Club leadership giving group of The V Foundation, a group that includes Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, Michigan State's Tom Izzo and Kentucky's John Calipari. Lavin has helped to raise more than $1 million for Coaches vs. Cancer since his arrival at St. John's in March of 2010 alone, and has taken part in V Foundation events for the past 10 years while at UCLA, ESPN and St. John's. When living in Los Angeles, Lavin was a regular visitor at City of Hope, where he often met with cancer survivors and visited patients during the holiday season. He led more than 400 fans and the Red Storm men's and women's basketball teams in raising $21,000 for pediatric cancer research at St. John's University Service Day "Dribble For The Cure" event on Sept. 24, and was selected as the Chairman of the Jimmy V Basketball New York Dinner Auction next Thursday, October 13.
The first year of The Lavin Era included a 21-12 overall record in 2010-11, marking St. John's most wins since the 2002-03 season, with six Top 25 victories, four over Top 10 opponents and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002. The USBWA District II Coach of the Year, Lavin transformed a team that finished in 13th place in the BIG EAST Conference in 2009-10 at 6-12 to a squad that tied for third last season at 12-6 - only twice before has a jump of such magnitude occurred in BIG EAST Conference history. The Red Storm finished its season ranked 18th in the Associated Press Top 25, marking the first time it qualified for the postseason as a ranked team since 2000-01. The Red Storm, which posted a 7-1 record in eight regular season games at Madison Square Garden (capacity: 19,353) and a 5-2 record on campus at Carnesecca Arena (capacity: 5,602) saw its home attendance climb by 38.1 percent, marking the fourth-largest increase in NCAA Division I men's basketball.