CHARACTER COUNTS

Arizona basketball coaches to wear shoes designed by kids for Coaches vs. Cancer

Jan 25, 2024, 6:47 PM

(X Screenshot/@ArizonaMBB)

(X Screenshot/@ArizonaMBB)

The Arizona basketball coaching and support staff will wear specially designed versions of Nike Air Force 1 shoes on Thursday against Oregon State in support of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) “Coaches vs. Cancer” and “Suits and Sneakers” Week.

Patients at Diamond Children’s Medical Center, part of Banner Health in Tucson, colored and painted the shoes with help from Arizona men’s basketball players Caleb Love, Kylan Boswell and Keshad Johnson to help raise awareness for the fight against cancer.

“It shows how grateful you are for your personal experience,” Boswell said on KGUN. “I never had to deal with something like that in my life.”

Coaches vs. Cancer and Suits and Sneakers Week is a nationwide event during which basketball coaches unite to build awareness and fundraise.

Wearing these sneakers serves as a visible reminder of the support across basketball of the mission of the American Cancer Society.

“Knowing that you can put a smile on kid’s faces, especially with what they are going through, is amazing for me,” Love said.

“At Arizona Basketball, we fight for something that is more than basketball,” Johnson said. “We fight for the whole community of Tucson.”

Lots of the sneakers painted have a U of A resemblance with the red, blue and white, but some are more abstract, with patients being as young as 16 months old holding paint brushes, according to KGUN.

“Let’s put a smile on their face,” Love said. “Let’s do it for them.”

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Arizona basketball coaches to wear shoes designed by kids for Coaches vs. Cancer