Trena Trice-Hill was recruiting in Georgia years ago the first time she walked into a gymnasium to see two teams and a crowd draped in pink, a promotion to raise breast cancer awareness. The gravity of the moment nearly overwhelmed her.
Cancer had taken her mother when she was barely 18, and the disease repeatedly attacked Kay Yow, her former coach and longtime confidante.
“I remember calling Coach Yow and saying, ‘Coach Yow, you have to see this,’” said Trice-Hill, in her second season as an assistant coach for the VCU Women’s Basketball program. “I got so emotional and so happy to see that. And of course, she was happy.”
On Jan. 24, 2009, Yow succumbed to a third bout of breast cancer. She was first diagnosed in 1987 and fought disease again when it returned in 2004 and 2007. Since 2006, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) has held Play 4Kay – renamed from the WBCA Pink Zone to honor Kay Yow – to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research. Every year, college teams across the country wear pink uniforms and encourage fans to do the same to place a spotlight on fighting cancer, a fight championed by Yow.