Yes, two teams of cancer survivors — the Hardwood Heroes — kicked off the Final Four weekend by going head-to-head at the Alamodome to raise awareness for cancer research. This game returns for a third year as a part of INFINITI’s long-standing partnership with Coaches vs. Cancer, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the NCAA.
This year’s Hardwood Heroes teams were led by two NCAA coaches: Coach Jim Calhoun along with Assistant Coach Shelley Smith and Coach Bo Ryan along with Assistant Coach Kayce Smith.
Team Calhoun, led by Coach Jim Calhoun, won by three points, but in this game, there were only winners.
Team Calhoun included Mike Thompson (Austin), Melissa Kovaleski (Phoenix), Harrison Guiol (San Antonio), Lexi Stephens (Houston), J. Dee Marinko (Oklahoma City), Devon Hinton (Dallas), Jared Ornoski (Phoenix), who are all returning Hardwood Heroes players from the 2016 or 2017 teams.
Team Ryan consisted of all new Hardwood Heroes players, including Deondre Logan (San Antonio), Hunter LaFave (Austin), Jacquelyn Harvey (Austin), Emilio Semas (Austin), Mark Moll (Boulder, CO), Krystal Lucero (Austin) and Paul Nelson (Austin).
In support of this initiative, Turner Sports will capture footage at the Hardwood Heroes team practices and game. Highlights will air during the Bridge Show between the two Final Four semifinal games on Saturday, March 31, and during the pre-game show prior to tip-off on Championship Monday on CBS.
INFINITI will also host the Charity Stripe Challenge at Tailgate Plaza at the Alamodome, an on-site experience throughout the Final Four weekend where fans can participate in a free throw competition to raise funds for Coaches vs Cancer, enjoy music and get a closer look at the all-new 2019 INFINITI QX50. At the Challenge, INFINITI will make a donation to Coaches vs Cancer for every shot a fan makes.
Learn more about the Hardwood Heroes players and INFINITI’s support in the fight against cancer at www.infinitiusa.com/hardwood-heroes.