On Jan. 25, the men’s basketball team played a home game against Calvin. The Comets participated in Coaches vs. Cancer’s “Suits & Sneakers” Week.
The coast-to-coast event is put on by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the American Cancer Society, according to the Olivet College Athletics website. To raise cancer awareness and funds, coaches wear their best sneakers during the game.
“The point is to make people look and say, why are they wearing basketball shoes with sport coats? Then they hear why!” OC head coach Sam Hargraves said. Olivet’s coaches each wore red and white sneakers to match the school colors.
“We’re donating to the American Cancer Society, which is obviously a great cause. The Coaches vs. Cancer program has been around for several years now, and they’ve raised much needed funds and awareness to fight the disease over the years,” Hargraves added.
OC Athletic Director Haley Diringer said that the school has been a part of the event before. Diringer’s hope was for high student attendance, to show support for both the basketball team and the greater cause of cancer research.
Many students did attend the game, wearing their best sneakers alongside the coaches and players. A contest was even held for those who donated $1 to the American Cancer Society. Students who wished to enter could pay a dollar to the fundraiser and be eligible to win the prize for “OC’s Best Sneaker Game”. Each participant received a free slice of pizza.
Along with hosting the event, the OC Athletic Department donated to the American Cancer Society. Fans who attended the game were also given an opportunity to donate.
The game itself was important too, with the Comets facing off against Calvin, who was previously undefeated in conference games. Hargraves said that winning the game would give the Olivet program incredible confidence as they move into the second round of MIAA play.
Unfortunately for the Comets, Calvin’s offensive attack was too much. After cutting the Knights’ lead to three points with about 13 minutes left to play, Olivet couldn’t make up any more ground. The final score was 69-56.