Lions Host Buckeyes in Coaches vs. Cancer Band Together Day
Jan. 25, 2013
By Tony Mancuso and Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
Instead, the Lions will trade them in for ones painted in a shade of gray as a sign of their support for Penn State Coaches vs. Cancer. In its third year as an event, the team hopes to portray the same message as it has before and calls it `Band Together Day'.
The Lions and Penn State Athletics will donate three dollars to the Coaches vs. Cancer effort for every gameday ticket that is sold.
But for this year's men's basketball squad, supporting a foundation that is dedicated to helping those directly involved with cancer patients means more than just different jerseys and raising money.
Head coach Patrick Chambers, who also serves as a chairman for CVC-Penn State, said that he is continually impressed with the impact that one team and one community can make in the world of cancer research and treatment.
"I want to be a big part of it and I want to help raise awareness locally and for this community and it's a special day for us," said Chambers. "Whatever we can do to raise awareness and try to fight this thing, that's what we've got to do."
Last year, Chambers helped Penn State raise more than $2 million for the CVC program. And Chambers said that the idea of banding together and fighting for the same cause is something that he talks to his basketball team about all of the time.
"It's definitely a life lesson that you can teach regarding the day and regarding what people go through," said Chambers. "We want those survivors that are going to be here to know that we've got their back and that we believe in them and we're going to help them along their journey and their path to make sure that they get the best care that they can get."
The Lions have had even more reason to stick together as a support system for their own D.J. Newbill, whose mother died from cancer less than two months before the start of this season. Newbill said that his entire team travelled to Philadelphia last September on the day of his mother's funeral, and has been helping him stay strong ever since.
"Cancer is affecting a lot of lives," said Newbill. "A lot of my teammates, they see how it affected my life and then it also affected their lives because they're my brothers so they felt my pain in that situation."
But the sophomore point guard said that his team's support and help through it all has opened up their eyes to the issue at large - the one that's off the court.
"I think a lot of guys understand that it's more than basketball," said Newbill. "As a team during the game we just want to stick together through the tough times and we understand that we go through tough times on the court but there are far more tough times for all of those people fighting cancer."
The men's basketball team and Coach Chambers support Coaches vs. Cancer efforts all year long and, at the end of it, a portion of the proceeds that are raised through CVC-Penn State are given to the Bob Perks Fund. The fund is a local charity that assists those directly affected by cancer in the Centre Region.
Chambers said that being an ambassador for change and making an impact within the immediate surroundings of State College is more and more important every day.
"That's why I am a big part of it," said Chambers. "It's touched us all and it touches this community every day."
Keys for the Lions
"I think you saw a leader emerge (at IU)," Chambers said. "He just kept coming an competing. He has a boxer's mentality. He's going to keep throwing punches. He's like Rocky Balboa. He took 1,000 punches from (Victor) Oladipo, (Jordan) Hulls and (Will) Sheehey...and he kept coming."
This is the lone meeting between Penn State and Ohio State this season. The game tips at noon on ESPN2.