BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It didn’t matter who had the lowest score; teaming up to defeat cancer was the main goal on Wednesday when basketball coaches from UB, Niagara, Canisius, St. Bonaventure, and Daemen headed to the links for the inaugural Coaches vs. Cancer 716 Golf Classic at Harvest Hill Golf Course.
“This is a great day, everybody working together and fighting to defeat cancer, so for our Niagara basketball program to be a part of that is something we’re committed to and it’s been a lot of fun,” Niagara men’s basketball head coach Greg Paulus said. “It’s great to connect with other people, and it’s great to connect with the community. Western New York Coaches vs. Cancer has done so much for so many people, so I’m honored to be a part of it and hopefully today we can take more steps forward.”
“We all know that cancer has affected each and every one of us, so it’s nice to be out here and also just nice to be outside and enjoy the Buffalo summers, they’re the best ever,” UB men’s basketball head coach Jim Whitesell said. “One of our boosters on the team, I haven’t seen all summer, jus reconnecting with the coaches, seeing them and the people out here to fight the cause, I think it’s fantastic.”
All of the funds raised through the event benefitted the American Cancer Society to support cancer research. In addition to raising money to fight cancer, Daemen men’s basketball head coach Mike MacDonald received the Jim Satalin award for his extraordinary contributions to the program and raising funds and cancer awareness.
“It’s kind of a personal thing for me, my wife Maura and I got very involved early on, back when I was the coach at Canisius many years ago. It was personal for us, her father passed away from cancer, so it’s always held a special place in our heart that we would try and do something to help out in his memory,” Daemen head coach Mike MacDonald said. “It’s always been something we felt like we could give back and maybe help in the area.”
“Everybody you talk to knows someone who’s dealing with cancer, my father is battling it right now and it can become personal to everybody, so what we try to do is no different than what we tell our team. We tell them to take care of your yard, do what you can do. If you look at trying to fight cancer and you look at the whole approach nationwide, it’s a big thing, and it can kind of be intimidating. But if you try and take care of your yard, and just help out in your area, any little bit can help, and that’s what we’ve always tried to preach, and we’ve been fortunate to always be able to help in Western New York,” MacDonald said.