Shooting Hoops for the Cure for the 9th Time


Pictured above, the Girls Varsity Basketball team for Ripon High posed with a few of their cancer survivors and roses.

Ava Velasco, Journalist

Breast cancer, the very reason we raise money by dedicating sports games and marathons to wearing pink during the month of October, is a type of cancer that typically occurs in the breast(s) of women and in few cases, men.

There are several possible symptoms that should raise red flags, including but not limited to: a lump or thickening of the breast, abnormalities of the skin or nipple, or prolonged pain in the armpits or breast.The four stages of breast cancer, depending on whether or not the tumor spreads to different parts of the body, are as follows:

Stage 1: The tumor is almost 2 cm across and has not spread to the lymph nodes.

Stage 2: The tumor is 2 cm across and has begun to spread.

Stage 3: The tumor is almost 5 cm across and could have spread to some lymph nodes.

Stage 4: The cancer has spread further, to organs, especially the bones, liver, brain, or lungs.

Last year alone, there were 41,400 deaths due to breast cancer. Although the road to recovery is not easy, with treatment options such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery, the number of deaths has been steadily decreasing over time. Keeping the body as healthy as possible is the best way to avoid this terrible cancer.

Hoops for the Cure is a basketball fundraiser started by East Union Coach Jim Agostini, who started the fundraiser along with prior Ripon Coach George Contente to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research because his wife was diagnosed.This past Saturday, January 26th, the 9th Annual Hoops for the Cure Basketball Classic was held at East Union High School in Manteca. Both Agostini and Contente were Inderbitzin’s assistant coaches when he was the Varsity Head Coach for East Union several years ago.

“I got involved as a supporter and since both coaches are close friends, when Coach Contente retired and I took over, I wanted to make sure this great event continued and we have been a part of it for the last three years,” states Coach Inderbitzin.

Every year, East Union teams up with Ripon High to play basketball, hold a raffle, and Silent Auction, where 100% of the proceeds go to Triple Step Toward the Cure.

Triple Step Toward the Cure is an organization that provides financial support for women with breast cancer and their families.

The night started off before 7:30, the scheduled Varsity game time, with food and raffle tickets for sale. 

Coach Jim Agostini and Coach Inderbitzin present $16,208 from last year’s game to Triple Step Toward the Cure.

“I will say it is an awesome event to be involved with and the Ripon Community is very giving when it comes to helping others in need.””

— Coach Inderbitzin

Each set of two or three girls from both teams had the opportunity to walk a breast cancer survivor into the gym through a pink and white balloon archway. Shortly after, the coaches of both teams stood in the middle of the court and thanked everyone for coming.

Coach Inderbitzin, Ripon’s basketball coach, and Coach Jim Agostini presented Triple Step Toward the Cure with a large check of $16,208 to go towards the organization. The money was from last year’s fundraiser mixed with the support of the Ripon community.

The game began with the jumping of the ball, in which sophomore Sydney Thomason hit over to Ripon’s side, leading to the first basket made by junior Reina Sausedo, which later would segue into 21 additional points scored by Sausedo throughout the game. With a jaw-dropping move of spinning around an opponent to shoot a two-pointer and scoring several three-pointers, junior Mikayla Vaught claimed second place in terms of points with 11 throughout the game. The final score was 55 to 38, with Ripon as the winner.

“I will say it is an awesome event to be involved with and the Ripon Community is very giving when it comes to helping others in need,” states Coach Inderbitzin.