The Nipissing Lakers varsity basketball teams will be hosting a pair of events for a very good cause on the weekend.
Shoot for the Cure Game
The USports annual Shoot for the Cure game takes place on Friday, Nov. 30 this year with the Nipissing Lakers basketball program taking on the Western Mustangs. This is a nationwide initiative for University Women’s Basketball programs.
“Our girls have worked hard to consistently raise over $4,000 annually for the cause, and have donated hair every year," said former Lakers player and current student assistant coach Rachel Van Woezik.
This year, my mother has been battling breast cancer, undergoing both chemotherapy and radiation treatment, so the cause hits a little bit closer to home for me. I realize now more than ever how important it is to ensure that people with these struggles know that they are supported. USport basketball, Nipissing University and the city of North Bay have done a wonderful job to enhance that feeling of community.”
The game has become part of the culture within the basketball program.
“Ever since arriving here in my first year, Shoot for the Cure has been a huge deal for our team," said Senior guard Michaela Branker.
"It’s something you know when you become a part of our program that we work hard at every year, and have a lot of fun with. We are lucky to have consistently felt the support from both Nipissing University and the North Bay community during our fundraising period and hope to see many people out this year.”
Tip off for the women is at 6pm with the men to follow at 8pm at the Robert J. Surtees Athletic Centre.
Tickets are free for students and children under 12, $5 for seniors and $10 for adults.
First Annual “Season of Giving” Game
On Saturday, December 1st, the Nipissing University Lakers Basketball program plays their final game of 2018 at the Robert J. Surtees Athletic Centre. The women’s team tips off at 6 p.m. vs. the Windsor Lancers with the men’s team to follow at 8 p.m.
To get into the Holiday spirit, the teams have partnered with the North Bay Regional Health Centre to provide gifts for patients without family involvement.
“Our women’s basketball program is dedicated to making a positive impact in our community through strong leadership and service," stated Lakers women's head coach Katie Hamilton in a release.
"We look forward to continuing to foster positive relationships with various community groups to help aid in areas that our community may need help and assistance. This is another example of an initiative we are excited to be a part of and look forward to helping in any way we can.”
The men’s program offers similar sentiments in discussing the importance of fostering a positive relationship with the North Bay community.
“The word 'connection' is a core value of our program,” said men’s head coach Chris Cheng.
“It is very important for us to engage ourselves with the communities in our city by contributing any way we can. We want to impact the youth and empower them for future life.”
A table will be set up in the hallway at the Robert J. Surtees Athletic Centre from 5:30 p.m. until the conclusion of the men’s game with the materials necessary for fans in attendance to create holiday cards. These cards, and any other gifts received will be delivered to the hospital by the athletes closer to Christmas time.
Cash and gift donations will also be accepted at the event.