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    PEELER: Fifth-Annual Hoops For Hope Is Sunday


    RALEIGH, N.C. – First-year NC State basketball coach Kellie Harper understands that Sunday's fifth-annual Hoops for Hope game isn't just about whether her team beats ACC opponent Miami.

    She knows it is all about the larger battle being fought against breast cancer, the foe that late Wolfpack coach Kay Yow fought so valiantly until her death last January.

    But Harper also knows that it is her duty to continue the momentum Yow created for this event, which regularly draws a sellout crowd to Reynolds Coliseum.

    Tipoff for the game is 5:30 p.m., but doors will open at 3:30 p.m. so fans can begin bidding on the popular silent auction items and visit vendors on the upper concourse. At halftime, the annual march of survivors will take center stage.

    Tickets are still available and can be purchased at the Ticket Center.

     "The event has been unbelievably successful for the last few years," Harper said. "We don't want to do anything to take away from that. Obviously, Coach Yow and her inspiration were huge draws for people. What we hope is that her legacy and her charge will continue to draw people to this event and to this cause.

    "Hopefully, people realize that this is more than a basketball game. It's an opportunity to give to and to support a great cause."

    Yow was in her second public fight against cancer when she conceived this event five years ago. From it was born the Think Pink initiative of Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), which raises awareness and funds for breast cancer research through a variety of events on the high school and college level.

    "Coach Yow was a very inspiring person, someone whose public fight touched millions of people," Harper said. "I don't have the same circumstances that she did, but I think it is important to continue the push and the hope she began.

    "I think it is very important for NC State to continue to lead the way in the battle. We have to be the example. We have to set the standard. Obviously, we can't do it alone. It takes the entire community to pull that off."

    But Harper is doing her part. She's donated several unique items for the silent auction, including the opportunity for the winning bidder to have dinner and a movie with her and her husband (and NC State volunteer assistant) Jon.

    Other items up for bid is the opportunity to sit on the bench for an upcoming women's basketball game, the chance to operate the recently refurbished Reynolds Coliseum noise meter for the "Pack the House" game on Feb. 19 and a basketball-specific work-out session with the women's basketball strength and conditioning coordinator.

    Perhaps the most unique item in the auction is the director's chair that Coach Yow used for her post-game interviews following home games at Reynolds Coliseum. The chair, donated by NC State's coordinator of athletic equipment Brenda Keene through the Kay Yow Cancer Foundation, has Coach Yow's name embroidered on the back.

    More than 100 items - from a set of 2010 Vancouver Olympic coins to scrapbooking items to a bronze wolf from the Wolfpack Club - have been donated so far, according to Melanie Perryman, one of four Women of the Wolfpack (WOW) volunteers who have spent the last year gathering items for the auction. The other three are Suzanne Rose, Kim Poplin and Pat Roper.

    For a list of some other items available, click here.

    New this year is the chance to buy raffle tickets for several random drawings throughout the course of the game. Fans can purchase 20 tickets for $20 or 120 tickets for $100. Also new is the opportunity to pay for auction items by credit card.

    You may contact Tim Peeler at



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