Fast Break raises funds, awareness for cancer research

The 14th annual Roy Williams’ Fast Break Against Cancer on Tuesday has raised $209,462 to date, and the total will increase after an online auction concludes on Oct. 12. The event has brought in more than $2.7 million since 2005.

Fast Break raises funds, awareness for cancer research click to enlarge Jones Angell, together with Roy Williams, spurred on the bidding during the live auction at Fast Break.
Fast Break raises funds, awareness for cancer research click to enlarge Roy Williams with Mack Brown.

September 27, 2018

UNC men’s basketball coach Roy Williams is an expert at raising the bar and level of play during big games. He’s also a pro at raising money for cancer research at UNC Lineberger.

The 14th annual Roy Williams’ Fast Break Against Cancer, held Sept. 25 on the Roy Williams Court at the Dean Smith Center, has raised $209,462 to date, and the total will increase after an online auction concludes on Oct. 12. The event has brought in more than $2.7 million since 2005.

“Every person knows someone in their lives who has been touched by cancer," Williams said. He told the group that he had lost a dear friend, Ted Seagroves, to pancreatic cancer four years ago, and he and his wife would be contributing to the HJ Kim Distinguished Professorship Fund, which was established in honor of Seagroves.

Joining Williams this year was another legendary leader -- former UNC and University of Texas football coach Mack Brown, whom Williams fondly called a friend and a “North Carolina guy.”

“Cancer is an awful word that’s touched many lives here in this room and will touch many more lives in this country,” said Brown, whose wife, Sally, is a cancer survivor. “I would encourage you, if you’ve got friends with cancer, if you’ve got family members that have cancer, talk to them about it. Reach out. Ask them how they’re feeling. Make sure you know they’re okay.”

Brown said looking back on his family’s journey with cancer, he is grateful to UNC Lineberger and all those who attended the Fast Break event. He said he is so impressed with the strides that have been made in cancer research since Sally’s diagnosis at 29 and is grateful to those who believe in a world without cancer.

UNC Lineberger Director Shelton Earp, MD, said the cancer center serves the state of North Carolina and the public by combining compassion and research and through great care and community outreach on screening information, educational materials and telemedicine.

“The attraction to the N.C. Cancer Hospital, to UNC campus and to UNC Lineberger has galvanized the treatment of cancer across the state. Because we not only take care of folks here, but we’re here for the public,” he said. “Every opportunity we have to do research and how to make it better for the people of North Carolina is helpful and is fueled by people like you.”

Another highlight of the event was the live auction, which saw a bidding war erupt on several items, including a UNC Men’s Basketball banner with more than 200 signatures from former players and coaches and lunch with Williams at the end of the basketball season.

Those who were not able to attend Fast Break can still take part in the online auction through Oct. 12, unclineberger.org/fastbreak, which offers the chance to bid on a range of items and experiences, including the opportunities to be a ball boy/girl at a UNC men’s basketball game, and to join the team on the bench for a game, get access to practice, warm-ups and time-out huddles.

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