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Prior to the 2016 Final Four in Indianapolis, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund will host the fifth annual Wow4Yow event to celebrate all the people and schools who have had Play4Kay games across the country this winter.
“There were Play4Kay games in all 50 states this year, which is incredible,” said Stephanie Glance, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund executive director. “I think that speaks to how coaches and players have gotten behind the Kay Yow Fund, and their desire to do something that goes beyond wins and losses on the court. It’s great to see because that was Coach Yow’s vision — a grassroots movement that would raise money for cancer research through basketball games.
“The Wow4Yow celebration is a fun evening that gives us a chance to show our appreciation for those people who were involved in Play4Kay events.”
The 2016 Wow 4 Yow festivities will be held at the Cadillac Ranch in downtown Indianapolis on Friday evening, April 1, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Wow4Yow will be open to all WBCA members, and the Kay Yow Cancer Fund will provide music, food and drink. During the event, the Fund will recognize Play4Kay award winners from seven different levels (Division I/BCS, Division I/Mid-Major, Division II, Division III, NAIA, JUCO and High School).
Play4Kay games are an initiative that benefits the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Now a national phenomenon, Play4Kay games had a simple beginning.
Yow, the legendary coach at NC State, was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987. Yow then spent 17 years cancer free, but the disease returned during the 2004-05 season. The WBCA responded to the news by sending out an e-mail to it members, suggesting that the coaches wear pink to show their support for Coach Yow and all the other coaches facing cancer. NC State players joined the movement and decided to wear one pink shoelace (right shoe, denoting the side of Yow’s cancer) for the remainder of the season.
That show of support started a “Think Pink” movement in the women’s basketball community, which morphed into “Pink Zone” and has now become Play4Kay games in order to keep the concept connected to Yow.
The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is involved in numerous activities in addition to the Play4Kay games, and the Fund has now allocated over $5.2 million to women’s cancer research.