ATLANTA, Ga. (Jan. 10, 2008) - The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today that over 600 schools have already committed to participating in the 2008 WBCA's "Think Pink" initiative, which includes East Tennessee State University as the Lady Buccaneers will help promote the week with their game against Lipscomb on February 16 at 1:30 p.m. inside Memorial Center.
The WBCA's "Think Pink" initiative is a global, unified effort for the WBCA's nation of coaches to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond. The week set aside for this year's initiative is February 8 - 17, however many schools are participating outside of that window due to scheduling conflicts.
"The WBCA is very excited to promote an initiative that touches all levels of our membership and unifies them for such a great cause," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "It has been remarkable to watch the support of this initiative grow from 120 schools last year to over 600 schools for 2008. With the help of each of our members, the women's basketball community can make a difference in the fight against breast cancer."
Schools have chosen to participate in a variety of different ways. Some ideas for involvement include ordering pink uniforms, inviting breast cancer survivors to the game, wearing pink shooting shirts, asking all fans to wear pink, and raffling off pink basketballs to raise money for a charity. Each school has been provided with access to logos, product ideas, promotional ideas, flyers, breast cancer facts, product offerings, and much more; all of this information can be found at www.wbca.org/thinkpink.asp. The extent of involvement is up to the individual institution; the importance comes in the awareness that the event creates.
During the game on Feb. 16, the Lady Buccaneers will be showcasing pink shoelaces and fans are also encouraged to wear a pink item. Also, donations will be taken throughout the game to help raise money for the fight against breast cancer.
"I think this is going to be a very special day and I am proud that we are one of 600 schools to help join the fight against such a deadly disease," said head ETSU women's basketball coach Karen Kemp. "We hope our fans come out and support the fight against breast cancer."
The Association's goal for this year's "Think Pink" is 750 participants. For a complete list of participants, click here. Schools participating range from all divisions of NCAA play, NAIA, JC/CC, high school and AAU. The WBCA hopes to take this to professional and AAU/YBOA play over the summer.
Thus far, several WBCA partners and sponsors have chosen to get involved in the WBCA's "Think Pink" initiative. ESPN has joined the initiative by dedicating their annual "February Frenzy" women's college basketball games on ESPN2 and ESPN360.com to promoting breast cancer awareness. They will support the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund in partnership with The V Foundation by directing fans to contribute to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund through the V Foundation 800 number (1-800-4JIMMYV) and website at www.jimmyv.org. February Frenzy will showcase eight regionalized games within two telecast windows for the biggest regular-season day in women's college basketball on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET, respectively. There are approximately 50 televised games overall dedicated to the WBCA's "Think Pink".
The NCAA has also joined the WBCA's "Think Pink" initiative by implementing the "Calling for a Cure" campaign where all NCAA women's basketball officials will be blowing a pink whistle February 8-17. Additionally, officials are encouraged to make a donation to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund.
WBCA sponsors Russell Athletic and Nike have also jumped on board with the initiative, providing numerous schools with pink uniforms and apparel. They are donating a portion of any proceeds to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund. Petrocelli Marketing provided products to all participating schools, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, wristbands among other products with a portion of their proceeds also benefiting the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund.
Many schools have partnered with local charities to make any donations raised through the WBCA's "Think Pink" initiative at their individual school. Any school that has not already partnered with a charity has been encouraged to make donations to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund.
Following the 2008 WBCA's "Think Pink" week, the WBCA will collect photos and video footage and tally total number of fans reached and donations collected during the initiative.
About the WBCA
Founded in 1981, the WBCA promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For additional information about the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.
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