Lady cagers think pink for a worthy cause

Assistant Coach Ajani Spiller, left, and Head Coach Eric Taylor wore pink ties to show support of the Pink Zone initiative.

For the third straight year, the North campus’ women’s basketball team joined the fight against breast cancer by participating in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s Pink Zone initiative.

Pink Zone is a global, unified effort for the WBCA’s nation of coaches to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, and in local communities. Hundreds of women’s and girl’s basketball teams across the country have committed to helping the cause. Participating schools range from all divisions of NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA, as well as high school and AAU play. San Jacinto College participated in the initiative with its game against Angelina College on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

“Each year, I grow more and more amazed at the dedication of coaches, fans, student-athletes and women’s basketball supporters who unite in the fight against breast cancer by participating in the WBCA Pink Zone,” said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. “Through this initiative, women’s basketball becomes much more than wins and losses, and I cannot think of a more important win than finding a cure for this disease.”

For former SJC women’s basketball coach, and current North campus athletic director Shawn Silman, the cause hits close to home. Silman’s mother, Judy, is a breast cancer survivor, as are two of his aunts. The disease, sadly, claimed the life of one of his grandmothers, and both of his wife’s grandmothers. However, he remains passionate about the cause and is pleased to see his former squad continue the initiative he first introduced to the team in 2008.

“We know that breast cancer affects so many people and families,” said second-year Head Coach Eric Taylor. “We want to do our part to help raise awareness for this disease and to get people thinking about what they can do to help. We’re happy to again be participating in the Pink Zone initiative.”

Players wore pink attire to show support of the Pink Zone initiative.

San Jac players wore pink shoelaces and headbands during the game, and the coaching staff wore pink ties. Fans were encouraged to wear pink in support of the cause. The first 100 fans to attend the game received a free Pink Zone T-shirt. Donations of any amount were accepted during the game. In addition, a portion of the proceeds collected from concessions were donated to breast cancer research.

The women’s basketball team and coaching staff are to be commended for their efforts in supporting such a worthy cause.

In the last two years, San Jac has raised over $1,000 for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Houston affiliate. In just its third year in 2009, the WBCA’s Pink Zone initiative had 1,600 participating teams, reached more than 912,000 fans nationwide, and raised over $1.3 million for breast cancer awareness and research. The initiative began in 2007 with just 120 participating schools and teams.

For more information about the WBCA or the Pink Zone initiative, visit the WBCA Web site at http://www.wbca.org/pinkzone.asp.