No matter how many Breast Health Awareness games I coach, the importance of the night always weighs heavy on me. The annual game is an honor to be a part of and the forty minutes is special to me beyond the contest on the court.
On Saturday night, when our girls took the pink court, the statistics associated with breast cancer were on the forefront of my mind. I coach 11 amazing women. Numbers tell me one of those women could be diagnosed with cancer -- I see these women fight every time they take the court, but I hope they will never fight this disease.
During four quarters minutes of game play, 13 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. So as teams across the league tip-off for the WNBA's Breast Health Awareness Week, they are playing for more than a game to win; they are playing to save three women each quarter from hearing the words "you've got breast cancer." They are playing for grandmothers, mothers, aunts, cousins, sisters, friends and each other.
The disease affects many, but it's a curable disease and a preventable one. On Saturday night, we were honored to partner with a local healthcare system, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa. Proceeds from our post game auction will help fund the Mobile Mammography Unity (MMU). The MMU provides mammograms to those who may not have the means to regularly get one. With early detection, breast cancer doesn't have to be a death sentence. I know this to be true because of the extraordinary Silver Stars fans I have had the pleasure of meeting that we call now call breast cancer survivors.
We walked off the pink court with a win on Saturday night, but that win pales in comparison to the chance for victory in the ongoing battle against breast cancer.
Dan Hughes is the head coach and general manager of the San Antonio Silver Stars. This is his eighth season with the organization.