Men's basketball joins ON THE LINE campaign

Men's basketball joins ON THE LINE campaign

POSTED: Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 5:00pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 5:04pm

 Roman Banks may not consider blue bow ties as apart of his clothing repertoire.

But this Saturday, Banks and his coaching staff will wear them and join BCA and ON THE LINE in the fight against prostate cancer.

The Jaguars, currently in second place, travel to Lorman, Miss. for their SWAC road finale against Alcorn State Feb. 25 at 4 p.m.

The men's basketball coaching staff will aid in the prostate cancer awareness and education campaign by wearing royal blue bow ties and an ON THE LINE button during Saturday's game.

According to an ON THE LINE release, "one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, making prostate cancer more prevalent than breast cancer. African American men are at even greater risk, as one in five will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. African American men are also more likely to develop prostate cancer than other ethnic groups and are more likely to die from the disease."

During Black History Month in February, ON THE LINE, a national prostate cancer education and awareness campaign, is teaming up with the Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA), the organization that represents and supports African American collegiate basketball and football coaches, to encourage African American men to not only learn the risk factors of prostate cancer, but also how to communicate with loved ones and physicians about their health.

ON THE LINE and the BCA are proclaiming the week of February 18th – 26th as “Statement Week.” During Statement Week, nearly 100 African American NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball coaches will show their support and raise awareness of prostate cancer by wearing a bow tie and an ON THE LINE button during their games. Partnering with such an impressive and extensive team of coaches will create an unprecedented level of prostate cancer awareness across America not only in the NCAA arenas, but in the homes of the millions of Americans that will be tuning in to watch their favorite teams on television. “Statement Week” is also being supported by The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), the Big 10, the Southeastern Conference (SEC), the Big 12 and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). Each conference and many of the participating schools will also spotlight “Statement Week” online to create further awareness.

Along with information and resources available at, ON THE LINE will also launch a series of Public Service Announcements that will air nationally and regionally on TV and radio.

“Educating African American men about the risk factors for prostate cancer is of the utmost importance and is a matter of great concern for our association,” said Floyd Keith, Executive Director of the Black Coaches & Administrators. “Our coaches are proud to wear the bow tie and make a statement for men’s health.”

Leading the charge for ON THE LINE during Statement Week will be Tubby Smith, prostate cancer survivor and Head Coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers Men’s Basketball team. In his coaching career, Tubby Smith has won a National Title, been named a conference coach of the year five times, and collected national coach of the year honors on three different occasions.

“Being a prostate cancer survivor, I understand the importance of talking to your doctor and learning your risk factors,” said Tubby Smith. “Thanks to ON THE LINE and the BCA, a new generation of African American men will be armed with the facts and the tools necessary to beat prostate cancer.”

In addition to Tubby Smith, the ON THE LINE roster of coaches participating in Statement Week includes Tommy Amaker of Harvard University, Mike Anderson of the University of Arkansas, Tony Barbee of Auburn University, Johnny Dawkins of Stanford University, Anthony Grant of the University of Alabama, Frank Haith of the University of Missouri, Leonard Hamilton of Florida State University, Paul Hewitt of George Mason University, Trent Johnson of Louisiana State University, Cuonzo Martin of the University of Tennessee, Oliver Purnell of DePaul University, Craig Robinson of Oregon State University, Lorenzo Romar of the University of Washington, Shaka Smart of Virginia Commonwealth University and John Thompson III of Georgetown University among others.

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