Duke's Nolan Smith Teams With TCA To Shoot Hoops With You!

June 26, 2017

Nolan Smith, TCA AmbassadorTeen Cancer America (TCA), a non-profit helping U.S. hospitals and healthcare professionals bridge the gap between pediatric and adult oncology care, will host a summer fundraiser, the 2017 Nolan Smith TCA Hoop-a-thon Challenge, in Durham, North Carolina, on Saturday, July 22, at the Emily K Center.

Led by TCA Ambassador and former Duke University basketball All-American Nolan Smith, the event will feature a shooting competition enabling individuals and sponsored teams to raise money by making the most shots within an allotted time.

The Emily K Center, named in honor of Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s mother, features a full-size indoor basketball facility. Hoop-a-thon participants will be put into groups of up to 25 shooters, each with a celebrity coach. Smith has recruited current and former men’s basketball players from Duke, UNC and the NBA to volunteer as team coaches. Money will be raised based on pledged contributions for every shot that is made. TCA is raising funds for the development of specialized facilities and services for adolescents and young adults fighting cancer. 

“The response to this event has been amazing so far, and I encourage everyone to get involved, either by participating in the Hoop-a-thon or making a pledge to donate,” said Smith. “I’m super excited about hosting this one-of-a kind fundraiser to help some very brave young people who need and deserve our support.”

Smith, who currently serves as special assistant to Duke men’s basketball under Coach K, has enlisted well-known Blue Devil and Tar Heel basketball stars to volunteer as guest coaches. The list of legendary celebrity coaches will be announced over the next few weeks. The TCA Hoop-a-thon is sponsored and underwritten by Raleigh-based First Citizens Bank, a primary corporate partner of Teen Cancer America.

“The Triangle area is a major hub for world-class basketball and for Teen Cancer America, making this event a wonderful way to raise money and awareness for our mission, including our local projects and others across the country,” said Jeremy Deckelbaum, regional development director for TCA. “We are extremely fortunate to have a passionate ambassador like Nolan Smith and the support of Duke basketball to turn this inaugural event into something special – hoops fans will not want to miss it.”

Details about sponsorship, team and individual participation, and pledged contributions can be found at Teen Cancer America Hoop-a-thon. Additional details will be provided upon registration, including recommended arrival times and parking information. The TCA Hoop-a-thon will feature a total of 24 groups, with six groups competing simultaneously during four separate sessions. During the competition, each participant will have four minutes to shoot from designated spots on the court. The group making the most shots overall will receive a special team prize.

Participants will receive swag bags with t-shirts, wristbands and other giveaways. There will also be prize raffles and a silent auction of sports and music memorabilia available to all attendees. DJ Autumn Joi from radio station K97.5 will provide MC and DJ entertainment throughout the day.  

Co-founded by rock icons Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who, and headquartered in Los Angeles, TCA is dedicated to the clinical and psycho-social needs of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients who too often find themselves receiving care among small children or the elderly. AYA cancer programs and specially-designed facilities are proven to improve outcomes and survivorship.

More than 70,000 teenagers and young adults are diagnosed with cancer each year in the U.S., and yet there are only 13 hospitals with specialized AYA facilities and programs, all developed by TCA. In addition to projects currently underway at Duke University and UNC, partnerships with more than 50 hospitals around the country are in various stages of planning.

For more information about the event or to donate, visit Teen Cancer America Hoop-a-thon.