Head Coach Steve Prohm has joined 47 other college basketball coaches from around the country in participating in ESPN’s Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge to raise money for different charities.
Each of the 48 coaches is competing for $100,000 for the charity of their choice. The coaches have been split up into four regions – East, West, South and Midwest – and are competing for enough votes to win their region and move on to the final four.
Once the final four are selected, a final vote will be held for the winners of each region to determine whose charity will receive the $100,000 prize. Prohm opted to support The V Foundation for Cancer Research, drawing inspiration from college basketball announcer and personality Dick Vitale, after his visit to Murray State to call a Racer game last season.
“Dick Vitale came down here last year which was a blessing for this community and this University,” Prohm said. “He invited me to his V Foundation Gala and I went down there and was just really impressed by the generosity and humbled by parents of the cancer victims and the cancer patients, so that was my charity that I wanted to choose to support when I was selected.”
The V Foundation was started by former North Carolina State Head Coach Jim Valvano, who lost his life to cancer at the age of 46 in 1993.
In the late stages of bone cancer, Valvano gave one of the most influential speeches in sports history at the 1993 ESPY Awards where he announced the beginning of the foundation and coined the trademark phrase, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” Valvano lost his life just over a month later, but the foundation continues on today. The organization focuses on working to find cures for cancer. It recommends and funds projects in cancer research while also working to support young scientists and those interested in research.
According to the Foundation’s website, “The V Foundation has awarded more than $100 million to more than 100 facilities nationwide and proudly awards 100 percent of direct donations and net event proceeds to cancer research.”
Prohm said one of the reasons he chose to support The V Foundation was because of the impact cancer has had in the Murray community.
“It’s impacted a lot of people here and it’s a dreaded disease,” Prohm said. “I thought The V Foundation would be a great one because of the way Vitale really supports it, and you know he was huge for our school and our program coming down here.”
Prohm is currently in third place in the East region, with 10 percent of the vote. The regional voting runs until Feb. 27, with the final four voting occurring from Feb. 27 to March 10.
Story by Jonathan Ferris, Staff writer.