Every year a select group of NBA players and coaches do their part in supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through the Hoops for St. Jude program, a partnership between NBA Cares and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital that helps create awareness for children’s cancer research and raises funds for the young patients of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.This is all in an effort to put together a winning team that helps the kids of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital beat cancer, sickle cell disease, brain tumors and other deadly diseases and helping families overcome one of life’s toughest moments.
Starting in 2005, the Hoops for St. Jude program has been a huge success and 2014 was no different. The program is one that is embraced by the whole NBA community, and is led by both players and coaches. The 2014 player ambassadors were Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers), Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves), David Lee (Golden State Warriors), Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies), Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons), Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies) and Mario Chalmers (Miam Heat). Coaches Mike Brown (Cleveland Cavaliers), Rick Carlisle (Dallas Mavericks) and Monty Williams (New Orleans Pelicans).
Taking place March 7th-14th, Hoops for St. Jude week was highlighted by some very special appearances and fundraising efforts. Golden State Warriors Forward David Lee played “Let’s Go Fishin’” with some of the patients. Phoenix Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek read “Elf on the Shelf” to the kids. NBA Coaches across the league wore their HFSJ pins to bring attention to the program. Rudy Gay of the Sacramento Kings even played backup singer to Adriana as she performed Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” for the Sacramento Kings. It was a very special week that helped support an amazing cause.
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FOLLOWING ARE SOME OF ST. JUDE’S AMAZING STATS:
• Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to 80% since 1962.
• On average, St. Jude has more than 67,000 patient visits each year.
• Bone marrow transplant survival more than doubled for young, high-risk leukemia patients treated at St. Jude in 2011. The results are believed to be the best ever reported for leukemia patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation.
• In 2012, St. Jude published 775 research articles – that equals, on average, a new discovery shared every 11 hours.
• St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90%, by 2020. We won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.
Below are some photos from Hoops for St. Jude Week 2014, highlight the incredible efforts of all of those involved. For more information on Hoops for St. Jude and how to get involved or make a donation, please log onto www.hoopsforstjude.org.