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In the midst of March Madness, members of the Harvard community played in a basketball tournament of their own yesterday afternoon, competing for glory on the court and raising money to support cancer research.
Twenty-one teams participated in the 3 on 3 tournament, which was organized by the Harvard Cancer Society and brought in over $300 for the Jimmy Fund, a Boston-based charity that supports cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Brian L. Butler ’12, co-chair of the Hoops Against Cancer program within HCS, said that he and co-chair Christopher J. Guenard ’12 chose to work with the Jimmy Fund to support a local organization that has made a large impact in promoting pediatric cancer research.
“[The Jimmy Fund] has been very receptive,” Guenard said. “They gave us a lot of stuff to use, and that is something we like to continue relationships with.”
Butler and Guenard said that holding a basketball tournament raised awareness of the importance of cancer research among many people who were not familiar with HCS’s mission. Though the tournament was a relatively small fundraiser compared to Relay for Life, which raised over $125,000 last year, Guenard said that it was effective in broadening support for cancer research activities.
“It’s a core group of people who do stuff like Relay for Life,” Guenard said, “so [the basketball tournament] is a good way to outreach to a different group of people.”
The teams started off in round-robin play and were seeded in a single-elimination tournament bracket from the results of the round-robin. The team of Collier W. Winters ’11, Collin T. Zych ’11, and Dexter B. Monroe ’13 took home first place and a prize of three iPods.
Participants said they enjoyed spending the afternoon playing basketball while also showing their support for cancer research.
“We just thought it was a great cause,” said Douglas W. Miller ’10, a member of the men’s varsity basketball team. “Some of my friends just wanted to have fun together and just relax and play some pick-up basketball.”
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