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NCAA basketball coaches trade hardwood courts for velvet greens

From May 20-22, NCAA basketball coaching luminaries participated in the American Cancer Society’s 11th Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic presented by Sanford Health. This year’s event expects to produce another major investment of more than $1 million in our mission.

The Las Vegas Classic opened at MGM Grand’s Live Lucky pool with a reception. During the event, Sharon Byers, chief development and marketing officer joined Sanford Health’s CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft on stage (pictured in small photo) to announce the company's commitment to grow their support of the Classic to five years and $2.5 million.

The Las Vegas Golf Classic has become a signature event of the national Coaches vs Cancer program. Lon Kruger (pictured in large photo), head coach of Oklahoma, is the founder and chair of the Classic. “The event continues to grow because of the many coaches, sponsors and participants who are so engaged in this project,” said Kruger, who started the Classic during his coaching tenure at UNLV.

Sanford Health joined the team last year as the presenting sponsor and is once again leading the way in 2018. “Defeating cancer takes a team, and we are proud to continue our support for this event that brings together such great people who are committed to helping find a cure,” said Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sanford Health.

Coaches and participants played two days of golf at Shadow Creek and Southern Highlands, the two premier courses in Las Vegas.

Coaches and celebrities who joined Coach Kruger for a mix of fun and fundraising during the 3-day event include:

  • Dana Altman, Oregon
  • Roy Williams, North Carolina
  • Frank Martin, South Carolina
  • Tim Miles, Nebraska
  • Fran McCaffery, Iowa
  • Matt Painter, Purdue
  • Sean Miller, Arizona
  • Brad Underwood, Illinois
  • Marvin Menzies, UNLV
  • Greg McDermott, Creighton
  • Dave Pilipovich, Air Force
  • Jud Kinne, Houston Baptist
  • Jack Murphy, NAU
  • Bob Chipman, Washburn - retired
  • Jim Harrick, UCLA - retired
  • George Karl, NBA
  • Gar Heard, NBA
  • Craig Neal, NBA/Former New Mexico coach
  • Kevin O’Connor, Former NBA exec
  • Bobby Jack Wright, Oklahoma – retired
  • Chris Crutchfield, Oklahoma
  • Carlin Hartman, Oklahoma
  • Kevin McKenna, Oregon
  • Kevin Kruger, Oklahoma
  • Ron McHenry, Washburn
  • Joe Holladay, North Carolina - retired
  • Jim Livengood, Hall of Fame AD
  • JT the Brick, FOX Sports Radio
  • Sean Farnham, ESPN
  • Eric Lautenbach, Nike

"The Coaches vs. Cancer event is something we look forward to hosting each year,” said Scott Sibella, president and COO of MGM Grand. “MGM Resorts is known throughout the world for offering premier entertainment and sports options. This is a terrific opportunity to use those elements and team with coaches throughout the nation to help raise dollars to fight cancer.”

The 2018 Golf Classic is hosted by MGM Grand and Topgolf Las Vegas. NextGen Cattle Co. is the 2018 All-Star Sponsor. Rounding out the team of generous supporters are Top of the World, The UPS Store, Nike, UPS, Xs & Os of Success, Tilted Kilt and Comprehensive Cancer Centers.

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