Prairie Fire Basketball Squads Raise Cancer Awareness

February 22, 2011

by Paige Anderson '14

Every Prairie Fire player on the basketball court was positively pink on February 14th, but it had nothing to do with Valentine's Day.

The Knox College men's and women's basketball teams joined the "Play for the Cure" initiative to raise cancer awareness and donations for cancer research. All of the Midwest Conference basketball teams also participated in the "Play for the Cure" campaign throughout the month of February.

Instead of wearing their usual warm-up suits before the games at Memorial Gymnasium, players for Knox College and the opponent, Grinnell College, donned pink T-shirts with "Play for the Cure" emblazoned across the front.

This is not the first time Prairie Fire basketball teams have played for cancer awareness, but this time it was personal.

The women's and men's teams collected donations for the Mayo Clinic at the door and at the concessions stand. The money will be given in honor of Knox professor of chemistry Larry Welch, who is currently battling cancer. He also serves as Knox College's Midwest Conference faculty athletic representative.

Members of the women's basketball team"The ‘Play for the Cure' game this year was a lot more meaningful to the team because of Professor Welch," said Knox College junior Lynn Mueller, a co-captain of the women's basketball team. "Wearing pink on the ‘Play for the Cure' game is just a reminder that we support people, like Professor Welch, who support us and our team's success."

Men's basketball Head Coach Rob Purlee was pleased that his team could play a role in such a worthy cause. "We feel privileged to use our platform to join the initiative to raise awareness and support for cancer research," he said.

During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month last October, the Knox Prairie Fire and other Midwest Conference volleyball teams participated in a "Play for the Cure" campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer and to collect funds for cancer research. The Prairie Fire and Lake Forest College held their "Play for the Cure" match October 14 in Memorial Gymnasium, and the teams donated the money they collected to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Photos by Hongyu "Sophie" Zhou '14