The William Smith College basketball team hosted the Rochester Institute of Technology at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18 in Bristol Gymnasium. It was the Herons’ annual Play 4Kay game. Even though RIT slipped past the Herons during overtime clinching a final score of 88-77, the game brought the HWS community together in order to raise awareness for breast cancer.
Play 4Kay is a national campaign to raise awareness and finance the fight against breast cancer sponsored by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. Now in its ninth year, the annual event has generated nearly $4 million to fund research for all women’s cancers.
William Smith wore pink shooting jerseys during warmups and pink socks throughout the game and fans are encouraged to wear pink as well. Prior to tipoff, the Heron Athletic Department presented a $1,000 check to Embrace Yours Sisters. The funds have been raised through a variety of events including the department’s Blue Jean Fridays and pink t-shirt sales. Embrace Your Sisters is a local, non-profit organization providing emergency financial assistance and support to people with breast cancer in the Finger Lakes Region.
In addition, Melissa Brown Butler ’93, a William Smith basketball alumna who is battling breast cancer for the second time, spoke about her List Two movement. As a former point guard, Melissa is all about the assist. Her mission is to take the focus and energy off of cancer and onto something positive, a movement to choose healthy habits for life.
Information about List Two and Embrace Your Sisters was available at tables near the entrance to the gym.
Though the admission to the game was free, but fans could make donations at the door to Embrace Your Sisters.
The game wasthe final home game for seniors Chloe Hayter and Ali Pliszka. A two-time All-Liberty League selection, Hayter ranks in the top 10 in William Smith career history in free throw percentage (4th, .761), rebounds (5th, 776), free throws made (5th, 299), free throws attempted (5th, 393), points (7th, 1,235), field goals made (9th, 457), and field goals attempted (10th, 1,021). She leads the 2014-15 Herons in rebounds with 224, ninth on the Herons’ single season list, one behind No. 8 Jennifer Goodell Cooper ’97 (225 in 1994-95) and 12 out of sixth place which is shared by Ashlinn Barber ’11 (236 in 2009-10) and Wendi Schoff ’98 (236 in 1997-98).
The Herons and Tigers was the first game of a doubleheader. At 8 p.m., Hobart College hosted RIT in its final home game of the regular season. The Statesmen also wore pink shooting jerseys during warmups and pink socks throughout the game. The Hobart College basketball team earned a hard-fought 53-51 Liberty League victory over the Rochester Institute of Technology in Bristol Gym
Founded in 2007 as Think Pink, the initiative was renamed Pink Zone and later Play 4Kay, in memory of the late Kay Yow, women’s basketball coach at N.C. State from 1975 to 2009. Yow was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and passed away in 2009 after facing the disease for the third time.