St. John’s held the seventh annual Dribble For a The Cure on its Queens campus on Saturday.
The event raised over $75,000 for pediatric cancer research. The event has raised over $500,000 at St. John’s since 2011 and over $2 million combined between St. John’s and UCLA.
The men’s and women’s basketball teams dribbled basketballs with fans around campus during the afternoon.
“I think it’s very important,” said junior forward Tariq Owens. “Just in the aspect of everybody’s affected by cancer. Family members, people on our team have family members who have been affected by cancer. Me personally, I have in my family. So just for guys to come out and show support as a team, it just brings everybody together in the community. It just shows that we’re all in this together.”
There was a loose atmosphere and the season is just around the corner. Chris Mullin’s Red Storm went 14-19 last season, and are looking to make it back to the postseason for the first time since the 2015 NCAA tournament. Saturday’s event brought the team together for a good cause.
“I feel this brings us closer,” said sophomore guard Shamorie Ponds, the Brooklyn product who set the St. John’s freshman scoring record last season. “Us interacting with the kids, the fans, to just bring us closer as a unit. So I think this is a great thing for us to do before the season.”
The primary benefactor is Dr. Mitchell Cairo, who has helped raised childhood survival rates in certain cancers from a little over 20 percent to more than 60 percent since he began his work.
St. John’s legends Lou Carnesecca and Jack Kaiser were on campus. So was Jeri Wilson, the director of the PCRF.
Dribble For The Cure founder John Vallely was also on campus, with his wife Karen. Vallely was the captain of the 1970 UCLA team that won the NCAA title. His daughter died after a three-year fight against pediatric cancer in 1991.
To make a donation to the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, visit www.dribbleforthecure.com.