TUCSON (Jan. 31, 2024)– The University of Arizona Men’s Basketball team and Diamond Children’s Medical Center have teamed up to raise awareness and funds for those battling cancer and support for a therapeutic play zone at Diamond Children’s.
University of Arizona Men’s Basketball Head Coach Tommy Lloyd and members of the team’s coaching and support staff have been wearing some special cancer awareness shoes the past week and will be wearing them once again on Thursday, Feb. 1, when the Wildcats take on California at the McKale Center.
Now fans have a chance to bid on these one-of-a-kind shoes with all proceeds going to benefit the non-profit Diamond Children’s Medical Center's cancer services and the therapeutic play zone that is currently under construction.
Bidding begins Jan. 31 and can be placed online on at https://UArizona.givesmart.com through Feb. 10 at noon. Bids can also be placed via text to: UArizona to 76278.
The effort is part of the American Cancer Society’s “Coaches vs. Cancer” initiative, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), International Childhood Cancer Day on Feb. 15, the team and Diamond Children’s Medical Center in Tucson. The team last wore the shoes during their road trip at Oregon State and Oregon, where the Wildcats defeated the Ducks in Eugene for the first time since 2015.
The shoes represent a cancer awareness partnership started when members of the men’s basketball team took the brand-new Air Force One Nike shoes to Diamond Children’s Medical Center and spent some time alongside hospitalized patients coloring and painting the shoes that the staff would wear. This opportunity was made possible thanks to a donation from the UA Foundation.
Patients used special shoe paint or permanent markers to personalize and colorfully design the shoes in any way they wanted. As a result, each shoe is unique in every way.
International Childhood Cancer Day is Feb. 15 and all funds raised from the auction will benefit the future play zone to support hospitalized children battling cancer and other illnesses.
Banner Children’s – Diamond Children’s Medical Center provides pediatric care for children, from newborns to teens. Services include emergency care, heart disorders, traumatic brain injury, autism and developmental disorders, cancer, diabetes and endocrinology, gastrointestinal and nutritional disorders, neurological problems, orthopedics, intensive care needs and more. It is the only pediatric medical facility in Arizona connected to an academic research facility — the University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center — where physician-scientists provide access to groundbreaking science and research to advance children’s health. For more information, visit bannerhealth.com/diamondchildrens.
Established in 2001, the Banner Health Foundation engages the community and stewards charitable contributions to advance Banner Health’s nonprofit mission of making health care easier so life can be better. Contributions are invested locally to support patient care programs and services operated by Banner’s many hospitals and health care facilities across Arizona. For more information, please visit www.bannerhealthfoundation.org.