University of Maine women’s basketball coach Richard Barron has pledged for the third consecutive year to shave his head if Black Bear fans contribute $10,000 for women’s cancer research.
If the goal is reached, Barron will be bald following UMaine’s Play 4Kay game with the Bearcats of Binghamton University on Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
Sandra Kay Yow, the inspiration for Play 4Kay, coached women’s basketball for 34 years at North Carolina State University and earned more than 700 wins (737–344) during her 38-year collegiate coaching career. Yow also guided the 1988 gold medal-winning U.S. women’s basketball team and in 2002 was inducted into the James Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Yow died in January 2009 during her third battle with breast cancer.
Annually, as part of Play 4Kay, coaches across the country raise breast cancer awareness and money for research. Since 2007, Play 4Kay has raised more than $2.5 million. UMaine fans have contributed just shy of $17,000 to that total. In 2012, Barron shaved his head after fans donated $10,277. Last year, the Black Bear community raised $6,678.
Barron said he admired Yow and is honored to participate in the effort. Barron was an assistant coach for the NC State women’s basketball squad for two seasons following Yow’s death.
“Few coaches have had such an impact, not just with her players but with her peers as well,” Barron says. “Kay was incredibly brave, determined, positive and grounded. During her very long and public battle with breast cancer, and after watching her friend and fellow NC State basketball coach, Jim Valvano die of cancer, Kay decided that she would help start this charity to raise money and awareness for breast cancer and cancer research. I am very excited about having Maine participate in this cause.”
To donate, visit play4kay.org/faf/teams/groupTeamStats.asp?ievent=1081067 and search for Maine Black Bears.