UNF basketball makes splash in annual cancer fundraiser

Zach Yearwood, Sports Reporter

Featured image by: Darvin Nelson 

Video by: Zach Yearwood and Cameron Visconti

Every January, college basketball teams around the country, including UNF, participate in the Coaches vs. Cancer fundraiser.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TctOuYT6OE[/embedyt]

This year, Head Coach Matthew Driscoll, his wife, Carrie, and the Ospreys men’s basketball team helped raise $2,800 for the cause. The initiative not only raises money for cancer research and prevention, but also raises awareness for early screening. 

Coaches vs. Cancer week sees several events including the Suits and Sneakers game, where coaches replace their dress shoes with sneakers on the sideline for one game.  

Teams also raised money by accepting pledges for three-pointers. Pledges were made per three-point shot. North Florida made 10 three-point shots against Liberty, resulting in $2800.

Coach Driscoll is passionate about the cause due in part to losing friends and family members to cancer, including his brother, Chris, who died in 2013.

Driscoll and his wife are also heavily involved in local efforts to help the cause. The two were big proponents of the American Cancer Society and Mayo Clinic opening the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Hope Lodge in 2019.

“We are very fortunate that our Hope Lodge just opened here,” Carrie Driscoll said. “If you are receiving cancer treatments for three days or longer, you can stay there completely free.”

The Driscolls, along with the Ospreys men’s basketball team, will also occasionally sponsor a child with pediatric cancer.

“We adopted a young man who had terminal cancer, he had a tumor when he was 14 years old, Nick Patrick,” Driscoll said. “We took him in and the guys were phenomenal with him… we spent a lot of time with him at Wolfson’s in the children’s cancer ward and that was important for him. Since it was important to him it was important to us.”

The Coaches vs. Cancer organization was founded in 1993 by former Missouri Basketball Head Coach Norm Stewart after he won his battle with colon cancer. The organization quickly grew and in 27 years, has raised over $125 million to fight cancer.

This year, 27 colleges and 93 high schools nationwide participated, raising over $139,000.

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