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Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Written by Jen Gaudet


MEDFORD -- The Tufts University men's basketball game this Saturday against Colby College is about more than securing one of the top seeds in this year's NESCAC tournament. It will also be about giving to a cause that has touched hundreds of lives. The Tufts coaching staff will be wearing sneakers instead of their usual dress shoes on the sideline. This fashion statement is to show support for the Coaches vs. Cancer Suits & Sneakers week.

Coaches vs. Cancer is a collaboration between the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the American Cancer Society in an effort to raise awareness and funds for the fight against cancer. The second week of February is designated as Suits & Sneakers week, where participating coaches across the country wear sneakers on the sidelines. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of nearly 500 basketball coaches across the country, Coaches vs. Cancer participants have raised more than $30 million since 1993 to help the Society fund groundbreaking cancer research, provide up-to-date cancer information and education, advocate for public health policies that benefit the community and provide services that improve the quality of life for patients and their families. The Jumbo coaching staff will be joining coaches like Jim Calhoun of the University of Connecticut, Mike Krzyzewski at Duke University and Gary Williams at the University of Maryland in this national effort.

Coaches vs. Cancer came to Tufts in response to a personal experience of Associate Head Coach Reggie Hobbs. Coach Hobbs recently lost good friend and mentor Matt Masiero to his fight against cancer. Masiero was a former assistant at UMass Boston, the head girl's coach at Jerimiah Burke High School in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and was the director of Five Star Girls' basketball camps. He passed away Christmas day after a three-year battle with bone cancer.

"Coach Masiero taught everyone around him about hard work, dedication, and commitment, things that we look for everyday from our program," Hobbs said. "More importantly, Matt taught us all about team, the idea that a group of people can work together to achieve a common goal. That is what the Coaches vs. Cancer initiative is about. Using this sport that has given us all so much as a way to give back in an effort to end this terrible disease."

The Jumbos have pledged a contribution to Coaches vs. Cancer and have asked other NESCAC schools to do the same. Additionally, the Jumbos will ask fans to participate in contests at half time in an effort to raise additional funds. For more information on the Coaches vs. Cancer and Suits & Sneaker Weekend, visit