UVU coaches wear sneakers with their suits for cancer awareness

Mark Madsen is one of countless coaches around the NCAA that participated in Suits and Sneakers

Suits and Sneakers is a week during the college basketball season where the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) teams up with the American Cancer Society to help raise money and awareness for the fight against cancer. Coaches will wear their suits with sneakers instead of their usual shoes. This year the event took place from Jan. 23 to Jan. 29.

“You wear suits and sneakers and the sneakers stand out to create awareness for coaches vs. cancer,” said Utah Valley University Director of Basketball Operations Michael Johnson.

This season the Wolverine staff wore white matching Adidas sneakers for their road game against Chicago State during Suits and Sneakers week. Like Utah Valley, some staff across the country wear the same sneakers while others will wear different sneakers or even customized kicks, as coaches think about people close to them who have been affected by cancer.

“Everybody has been affected by cancer in some way,” said Johnson, who has had some close family members pass away from cancer. “For me personally it was for my mom, my mom battled cancer for a long time in my life, even before I was born. When I was thirteen she actually passed away from cancer. Cancer is something that is very near and dear to my heart.”

This is not the first time that the Wolverines have brought awareness to cancer as the team has teamed up with 5 for the Fight, a local nonprofit in Utah that helps raise awareness for cancer. Whenever the team wears their white jerseys they sport a 5 for the Fight patch on the left side of their uniforms. This included a 5 for the Fight night against BYU on Dec. 1, 2021, when the Wolverines upset the then ranked number 12 Cougars. Utah Community Credit Union (UCCU) donated $100 to cancer research for every three-point shot made. 

Donations made to help the fight against cancer can be used in more ways than just cancer research. Some organizations help out families who need to take care of children or even give them something fun to help them through a difficult time. 

Johnson suggested some ways that people can help with the fight against cancer. “Find an organization that you can donate to like 5 for the Fight, it is five dollars. One thing I have done before … [is] volunteer back in my hometown in Bosie and see the children that are in the hospital with cancer.” Johnson also added that it is harder now because of COVID-19 but you can donate your time as well to help out. 

For more information about cancer and ways to donate or get involved visit the American Cancer Society or 5 for the Fight.

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