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Skyhawk fashion to fight cancer

Skyhawk fashion to fight cancer
The wardrobe for the men’s basketball coaching staff at UT Martin for Saturday’s Ohio Valley Conference battle against Murray State won’t be conventional.
Head coach Jason James and assistants Jay Bowen, Cornelius Jackson and Dylan Dudley will wear suits accompanied with sneakers to demonstrate their support for the American Cancer Society and its fight against cancer.
To show their support of their coach’s effort in the fight against cancer, fans also are encouraged to wear sneakers to the game.
Cancer has affected each coach at UT Martin. James lost an aunt, Juanita Barnes, to cancer in 1999.
“She lived with cancer for almost 15 years and that has had a lasting effect on me,” said James.
Bowen said his wife’s family has suffered through several battles with cancer.
Jackson’s 8-year-old daughter, Valessa, had a Wilms’ tumor on her left kidney when she was 3.
Dudley’s grandfather, 85-year-old Ivan “Dutch” Dugan has battled through prostate cancer.
“It’s under control now,” Dudley said. “My grandfather is my best friend. He was going through treatments but he made it to my game at Illinois College when I scored my 1,000th career-point, and I gave him the game ball.”
By lacing up sneakers with their suits, participating coaches nationwide will spotlight the fact that while cancer remains a major health concern, everyone can take daily steps to reduce their risk of the disease.
In addition to participating in Suits and Sneakers, the UT Martin men’s basketball team organized a team to participate in the West Weakley County Relay for Life set for June 12. The team is taking pledges and donations for each 3-point basket made during the month of January. Going into Saturday’s game against Murray State, the Skyhawks have made 41 3-pointers in eight games.

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