2007-08 CRC News >> Press Release

New Basketball Tournament to Feature Some of Nation's Best Players
Urologic Research Institute, WJU Sponsoring Event That Will Also Raise Men's Health Awareness

Cancer Research Classic

WHEELING, W.Va., July 9, 2007 -- A new sports event planned for Wheeling will give high school basketball fans a chance to watch nearly 50 future college Division 1 players compete, and at the same time raise awareness of men's health issues.

The Cancer Research Classic, set for Dec. 15, is being sponsored by the Urologic Research Institute (URI) at Wheeling Hospital and Wheeling Jesuit University (WJU). While both public and private schools are participating in the inaugural event, organizers expect it to grow into of the nation's premiere Catholic high school basketball tournament.

"We will have at least 47 future D1 players and six to seven of the top high school players in the country," said Dr. Gregory Merrick, director of the URI. "At least four or five of them are possible future NBA players. Information on the tournament is being sent to college conferences, and we expect quite a few scouts to attend."

But Merrick is also excited about the opportunity the tournament will provide to promote men's health awareness, including issues such as prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction, BHP, testicular cancer and overall wellness. Pharmaceutical and medical supply businesses are supporting the event, and medical informational booths will be in place at the concourse of the Alma Grace McDonough Center.

"Sports in general, but specifically basketball, are being increasingly used to raise awareness and funds for men's medical issues," Merrick said.

Half of the gate receipts will benefit ongoing research at URI while the other half will go to the undergraduate medical physics program at WJU. Merrick said the event will help fund faculty research.

Chad Dickman, men's interim head basketball coach at WJU, said, "We are very excited at Wheeling Jesuit University to be in the position to host such a prestigious event. The tremendous high school talent we'll have coming to Wheeling is great for the city and the university. We have an outstanding facility here and are honored to host this event, not only because of the excitement that the basketball tournament will bring, but also the awareness that we can generate with men's health issues. We are delighted that we have the opportunity to take part in this tremendous tournament that supports such a great cause."