Cancer sucks. Period.
That’s the opening three words of the event page for Saturday’s girls basketball showcase at Wilson High School, which has three of its students currently battling cancer.
So Wilson girls basketball coach Michelle Birge is helping run the Assist for Life Fight Cancer Basketball Classic, which will include some of the top basketball teams in the state in Tacoma, with all proceeds going toward the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
The headliner is at 6:30 p.m. when Gonzaga commit Kylee Griffen leads No. 5 Lake Stevens against Stanford-bound twins, Lexie and Lacie Hull and No. 1-ranked Central Valley. CV will also stick around to play in the ShoWare Center in Kent on Monday against defending 4A state champion and third-ranked Kentridge.
“It will be a good showcase and hopefully draw a big crowd to raise awareness and money for this organization that has helped our three kids,” Birge said.
Wilson will play Timberline at 5 p.m., just after No. 6 Lincoln plays Bishop Blanchet, which was in last year’s 3A state title game, and Gig Harbor plays No. 10 Garfield.
Wilson’s Morgan Greene is a four-time all-league girls soccer player and is one of those three students who discovered last year she had cancer, Hodgkin Lymphoma. Same with boys soccer player Jayson Ray.
Central Valley hosted the Cam Jam Clash for Cancer in late December to raise money for the Anna Schindler Foundation, which helps fight rare childhood cancer. CV coach Freddie Rehkow’s youngest of four sons, Cameron, was diagnosed with leukemia in April 2016 at age 11.
So it seemed a no-brainer to travel from Spokane to Wilson for this showcase.
“I have survivors in my family,” Birge said. “And I have known some incredible people who have passed away from different types. And Morgan and Jayson are two kids who are near and dear to our hearts. These are two student-athletes whose lives drastically changed one day. But they are examples of relentless pursuit and not being victims of your circumstance. That’s what inspires me.”
Teams will also be wearing purple shooting shirts and socks.
Here’s the full schedule of games, as well as the slate for Monday’s Martin Luther King Day showcase games:
ASSIST FOR LIFE FIGHT CANCER BASKETBALL CLASSIC
Saturday at Wilson High School
11 a.m.: Mt. Rainier vs. Auburn Mountainview (girls)
12:30 p.m.: No. 7 Bethel vs. King’s (girls)
2 p.m.: Gig Harbor vs. No. 10 Garfield (girls)
3:30 p.m.: No. 6 Lincoln vs. Bishop Blanchet (girls)
5 p.m.: Wilson vs. Timberline (girls)
6:30 p.m.: No. 5 Lake Stevens vs. No. 1 Central Valley (girls)
2018 KING SHOWCASE
Monday at the ShoWare Center (Kent)
9 a.m.: Kentlake vs. Vashon Island (boys)
10:30 a.m.: Auburn vs. Mount Tahoma (boys)
Noon: No. 3 Kentridge vs. No. 1 Central Valley (girls)
2 p.m.: No. 7 Enumclaw vs. Post Falls (Idaho) (boys)
3:30 p.m.: Kentlake vs. No. 10 Sunnyside (girls)
5 p.m.: No. 6 (4A) Kentwood vs. No. 6 (2A) Lynden (boys)
7 p.m.: Glacier Peak vs. No. 10 Spanaway Lake (boys)
8:30 p.m.: No. 9 Shorecrest vs. Auburn Riverside (boys)
WILLIE STEWART MLK GIRLS BASKETBALL SHOWCASE
Monday at Lincoln High School
1 p.m.: Chief Sealth vs. Bellevue (girls)
2:45 p.m.: Olympia vs. Eastside Catholic (girls)
4 p.m.: Curtis vs. No. 4 Eastlake (girls)
6 p.m.: No. 6 (3A) Lincoln vs. No. 8 (4A) Todd Beamer (girls)
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677