Wolverines Welcome Breast Cancer Survivors to Prepare for Pink Game

Feb. 7, 2014

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan women's basketball will host its annual "pink" game on Sunday (Feb. 9) against Purdue at Crisler Center, in conjunction with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) to celebrate the life of coach Kay Yow and join teams around the country in the fight against breast cancer.

Michigan will wear pink uniforms, shoes and socks to help raise awareness for breast cancer.

Michigan invites all breast cancer survivors and their families to attend the game for $1. All survivors in attendance will be honored at halftime of the game. For more information about the $1 tickets, please email UMAthleticsMarketing@umich.edu.

Just like getting ready for an opponent, the Wolverines prepared for this event before it actually happens. Head coach Kim Barnes Arico did not want her team to just show up and put on a pink uniform without knowing why they were doing it.

So, to prepare for Sunday's game, the Wolverines did not watch any extra film or walk through any plays. Instead, they invited a group of breast cancer survivors to join them for dinner last Thursday (Jan. 30). Joining the Wolverines at the Junge Family Champions Center were Cheri Chandler, Bilky Joda-Miller, Monica Brancheau, Lori Eastman and Ellen Woodard. After sharing a meal, each of the women got up and shared their story about how they beat or continue to fight breast cancer.

Barnes Arico
Kim Barnes Arico

"We started this last season, in my first year here at Michigan, and it was really outstanding," Barnes Arico said. "I think it made a great impact on our team, from the coaches to the players, so we wanted to do it again this year.

"We honor survivors. We had a group of women who are breast cancer survivors come and have dinner and meet with our team. They share their stories and spend some quality time with us. They are such inspiration to all of us. It left such an impact. Some of the women were diagnosed with cancer very young, the same ages as our players, the same age as some of our coaches. How they responded to adversity is just incredible. Sometimes kids at this point in the season are 'woe is me' and getting down because it is such a grind. Sometimes you forget to appreciate all you have. When these women come in and speak to us, it leaves such an impact and shows us how blessed we are.

"Hopefully it grows and grows each year. We would love to have a great crowd to join us," Barnes Arico said.

The five amazing women who came to share their struggles and stories can be seen pregame on Sunday, introducing the Wolverine starting five on the video board.

Michigan is 15-8 (6-4 B1G) on the season and is coming off a 70-68 win at Northwestern on Thursday night (Feb. 6). The Wolverines are tied for fourth in the Big Ten.

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (vanmetre@umich.edu)

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