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High school basketball player joins Yow's fight against breast cancer

Posted January 26, 2008
Updated January 23, 2009

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— A high school basketball player expanded North Carolina State University women's basketball coach Kay Yow's game plan to beat breast cancer.

Blair Williams, a freshman at Athens Drive High School, chose to base her graduation project on Yow's annual Hoops for Hope, a fund raiser for a cure for breast cancer. Blair's mother and grandmother are both breast cancer survivors.

"I wanted to do something that was related to me more," Blair said. "And I can do it for a great cause."

Blair's efforts resulted in her own Hoops for Hope fund raiser at the game between her Lady Jags and the Apex High School Lady Cougars Friday night. Items went up in a silent auction, and all things pink – the universal color for breast cancer awareness – were sold.

Blair's mother, Susan Williams, said the event was an extension of her family's love and support.

"With me going through this experience ... I don't think I could have asked for the whole family to have been more supportive, from my husband to Blair, both our boys Vance and Chris," Susan Williams said.

Blair said the project was inspired by Yow's courage in battling breast cancer.

Yow returned to coaching in January 2007 after two months of chemotherapy treatment for a resurgence of breast cancer, which she had been diagnosed with 17 years earlier.

The original Hoops for Hope, at a N.C. State game against Boston College, raised more than $43,000 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.

With the support of the Apex team, Blair said she hopes to hold the high-school level Hoops for Hope every year until her graduation. At each one, she will don Number 12 for Athens Drive's Lady Jags.

"We're planning on doing it every year until I'm a senior," Blair said. "So we're hoping to grow with raising our money and getting more each year."

The second college-level Hoops for Hope will be held Saturday, Feb. 10, when the Wolfpack again takes on Boston College at Reynolds Coliseum.

Susan Williams said her daughter's efforts give her hope that the fight against breast cancer will be won.

"After watching my mother go through it and me to go through it, I think it's so important to raise money," Susan Williams said. "So maybe a cure will be found in my children's lifetime, and maybe they won't have to worry about facing this."


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