On Thursday, October 19, The Pan-African Student Union hosted their annual Ballin' 4 Breast Cancer charity basketball event at Harwood Arena, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Attendees filled up the stands as the Divine 9 fraternities and the Kean police team went head to head for a good cause.
The Ballin 4 breast cancer event has become a yearly event at Kean as its popularity raises awareness for breast cancer. This year, the proceeds went toward the Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation. The Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation’s mission is to serve underprivileged and vulnerable women by guaranteeing the availability of top-quality breast health services, such as screenings, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care.
Before the game began, ‘20 Kean Alumni, David Patterson Jr, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity stated how it feels good to come out and play for a good cause and to bond with old teammates.
“It feels good coming out here just because this is something I used to do during undergrad, it’s a good experience to be with the same teammates I used to be here with during undergrad, now we are all in our careers and professions, to come back and do something good for the school is definitely a good experience,” said Patterson Jr.
Samantha Horace who is a member of the Pan African Student Union, explains what breast cancer awareness month means to her and her organization.
“This event is actually our annual event and it’s been going on for 5 years. For the Pan African Student Union, we are very focused on not only empowering and advocating but also focusing on the issues that are within our community,” said Horace.
Samantha goes on to explain how a lot of black women are affected by breast cancer, and how being aware and alert can reduce that rate. “We see that breast cancer, especially in the United States, there’s a disproportionate amount of black women in particular that get breast cancer, we need more resources in our community, we need people to care about their bodies,” said Horace.
The game itself was a good watch as both teams were playing viciously to score buckets. Attendees were certainly entertained throughout the game, as Dr. David Jefferson Jr would bring great energy and microphone presence while engaging with the crowd. As halftime went underway, two breast cancer survivors Lisa Crapps and Veronica Grimsley were brought to center court. They received a standing ovation for beating breast cancer as they advised everyone in attendance.
Veronica Grimsley went on to explain how her beating breast cancer has made her a warrior, not a survivor. She urged the young attendees in the crowd to utilize their insurance benefits. Many people are not aware that they are allowed to be under their parent/guardian’s insurance until the age of 26. Lisa Crapps then elaborated on the fact that the number of younger women getting breast cancer has been increasing each year. She reiterated to the audience that it is important to get a mammogram screening before the age of 40 for early detection.
After the informative, the Kean Top Knotch majorette team came out to put on an excellent halftime performance as the crowd was fully engaged and hyping them up. The second half of the game continued as Kean police and Divine 9 battled it out to see who would come out on top. As both teams would continue to trade baskets, the Divine 9 eventually came out victorious over Kean police with the final score being 41 to 30. Ultimately a successful event for all those in attendance as they raised awareness and brought support to those who have been affected by breast cancer in the Kean community.