Bigger Than Basketball: CSU Partners With UCHealth To Again Honor Cancer Warriors

Bigger Than Basketball: CSU Partners With UCHealth To Again Honor Cancer Warriors


Monday, January 10, 2022

CONTACT: John A. Martin, Assistant Director of Athletics Communications

(540) 476-1259 |

With the women’s game on Jan. 15 and the men’s on Jan. 28, this will mark the third consecutive year that the men’s and women’s basketball teams will recognize UCHealth Cancer Warriors by wearing their names on the back of the jerseys instead of their own

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – For the third consecutive season, Colorado State’s basketball programs and UCHealth are partnering to honor and recognize Northern Colorado cancer patients. Players from both the men’s and women’s teams will wear jerseys with the name of one of the Cancer Warriors on the back instead of their own as part of the UCHealth Bigger Than Basketball Initiative.
In college basketball, men’s programs have taken part in the Coaches vs. Cancer program; the women take part in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Pink Zone. The women’s game occurs first at Moby Arena as the Rams host UNLV on Jan. 15 at 1 p.m. The men will also host UNLV for their game on Jan. 28 at 7 p.m.
Last year, the pandemic altered how the events took place, as the initial interaction was a Zoom call and no patients were able to attend the games. However this year, many of the Cancer Warriors will have the opportunity to attend the respective game at which they are being honored.
“This has been a very meaningful event for our basketball program,” CSU men’s head coach Niko Medved said. “It has been something that our guys take great pride in representing the Cancer Warriors on their jerseys, as they know they are playing for something more than just themselves or CSU, while also having the opportunity to learn about what they have been dealing with. It is a great way to support our community, and we are thrilled to be able to do it again as well as have the honorees in attendance, as that adds to the value for all.”
“The “Bigger than Basketball” game where CSU and the UCHealth work together as a team is an amazing event that I am honored to be a part of,” said Kathleen Michie, UCHealth Cancer Center Oncology Services Program Manager. “It gives patients and their families something to look forward to during a time good news may be in short supply.
   “Most every patient, along with myself, has tears of gratitude as some point – either when they are told they have been nominated, receive a letter from their player, see their name on a jersey, meet their player or receive the autographed framed jersey with their name on the back!” Michie continued. “It is truly unbelievable and unforgettable for not only our patients but for their friends and families. I personally had a family member receive a handwritten letter from one of the players prior to the game last year which my family and I cherish.  My mom will cheer him on from heaven this year.”

Women’s head coach Ryun Williams knows all too well the impact, on both the players and the warriors. Especially this year with honoring two CSU staff members, it takes on an additional meaning to him and his squad.
 “This is a game that has had an extra meaning to all of us over the last two years,” Williams said. “It means more when you are representing more than just our University and this year, that is taken to another level with our CSU family being involved. This is more than just a game; it is something that reminds us that, while basketball is very important to all of us, the health and well-being of family, friends and our community is what matters most.”

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