Muhlenberg basketball has relied heavily on three point shot this season, but their success from downtown is doing much more than just helping them win games on the court. The program is helping in the fight against cancer too.
“the challenge is a great way to get people involved and spread awareness about the fight against cancer. I personally know many people who cancer has affected, whether it has been them personally or a family member. The more people and teams that get involved the better.” – Erik Warheim ’19
Muhlenberg College is just one of many collegiate basketball programs across the country that participated in the ‘Coaches vs. Cancer Challenge’ this year. The challenge encourages fans to pledge any amount of money for every three pointer the team makes throughout the season. Started at the University of Missouri by their former head coach and cancer survivor Norm Stewart, collegiate basketball programs have directly been able to join the fight against cancer.
By being direct participants in contributing to the challenge, players on the men’s basketball team have embraced the challenge of their own in helping the fight against cancer. Many of the players on the team have had loved ones battle cancer, so the challenge holds an even greater meaning for them.
“This challenge means a lot to me. Personally I have lost three important people in my life to cancer. I think it’s great that we are doing what we are doing. I think more teams should take part in activities like this to build awareness and help a great cause,” says shooting guard Brendan Hughes ‘19.
The Mules are not the only Division III program participating in the challenge. Current Head Coach of the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team Kevin Hopkins said that his team at Amherst College participated in the challenge last year as well when he was an assistant coach there. Hopkins said that “we had some success with the challenge so I wanted to bring it with me to Muhlenberg.”
Other players understand the importance of the challenge in bringing national awareness to Muhlenberg’s dedication to the fight against cancer. Forward Erik Werheim ‘19 says, “I think that the challenge is a great way to get people involved and spread awareness about the fight against cancer. I personally know many people who cancer has affected, whether it has been them personally or a family member. The more people and teams that get involved the better.”
The men’s team finished their season at McDaniel College on Saturday Feb. 17, and finished the campaign with a total of 231 successful three point baskets. Three sharp shooters, Hughes (52) , Matt Gnias (49) ‘20, and Nick Rindock (40) ‘18 led the 2018 squad from beyond the arch. The team’s incredible fight against a horrible disease has made the 2018 season a lot more than wins and losses for the team, and more about a big win for society.