Hoops for hope

Former Trojans shoot for prostate awareness

Two former Trojans are coming back to SAIT for a good cause this May to rally for a cause they believe in.
Foundation Youth Basketball founders – and husband and wife team – Junior Palomino and Chris Monfort have partnered with the Prostate Cancer Society to host a youth basketball tournament on campus. They want to showcase local basketball talent, as well as provide education about and awareness for prostate cancer.
“The awareness of prostate cancer is just not out there yet,” said Palomino.
According to the Prostate Cancer Center website, one in six Alberta men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime with over 400 men dying annually from the disease.
Palomino and Monfort share roots in the SAIT community, and the couple said it was important to find a ‘home court’ for the tournament and their cause.
Palomino captained the 1994-95 Trojan men’s basketball team to a provincial championship, and Monfort is a former ACAC all-conference award winner.
“There is some pride there,” said Palomino. “To be able to come back to put on an event in (our) home gym.”
As the Prostate Cancer Center is a donor-funded organization, events like this provide essential exposure for prostate cancer awareness and work as a fundraising vehicle.
“Our center is truly unique in Canada,” said Pamela Heard, executive director for the Prostate Cancer Center. “We offer rapid access to a specialist, to a biopsy, treatment and aftercare – all in one place funded by the community.”
The Prostate Cancer Center will also have ‘He Man Vans’ on location during the tournament. The vans, which are mobile detection units, will provide prostate cancer education to the men in attendance as well as allow for baseline PSA testing for men over 40.
“Education is key to early intervention,” said Heard. “Prostate cancer is one of the most treatable cancers if diagnosed early.”
Though the players in the tournament may be too young to understand the severity surrounding prostate cancer, supporting this cause is an experience that some may never forget.
“Our goal is to get as many men checked as possible,” said Monfort.
The Hoops for Hope youth basketball tournament takes place in the Campus Centre gym on the weekend of May 20.
It will feature elite club teams in the U16-U17 age bracket from throughout the country. Teams from Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Spokane are competing for supremacy in this inaugural tournament.

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