Women’s Basketball to Play4Kay in 2012-13

The women’s basketball team has recently announced that this season they will Play4Kay and raise as much money as they can to help find a cure for breast cancer.

The Play4Kay foundation is in memory of the legendary North Carolina State women’s basketball coach Kay Yow who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and passed away on January 24, 2009 due to the illness.  According to the official Play4Kay website (, it states that they are a 501 charitable organization committed to being a part of finding an answer in the fight against women’s cancers through raising money for scientific research, assisting the underserved and unifying people for a common cause.

A big reason why the Blue and White are so involved in this is because of the personal impact coach Yow had on the MU coaching staff.  Head coach Jenny Palmateer played for and coached alongside Yow for a combined 14 years.  “I learned a lot of lessons as a player and as a coach from coach Yow,” Palmateer said. “To play for her, she was always the kind of coach to empower you and encourage you to do things.  There are a lot of different coaching styles out there, but her’s was always one for encouragement.  I try to carry that over because it’s a great way to do it and gets the most out of people. I learned you got to believe in people, I probably accomplished more than I thought I ever could on the court because I knew she believed that I could do it.” 

Over the years, Palmateer grew very close to Yow on and off the court.  “She was my coach, my mentor, and my friend for a long time,” Palmateer said. “She was somebody I could always rely on for anything that I needed, advice with basketball and life, all of it, She was just unbelievable, very close relationship.”

The Play4Kay team captain and Director of Basketball Operations Meg Tarrant is doing everything she can to help find ways to raise money for the foundation.  “I want to continue to get word out as much as I can, to the student body, the Monmouth community, and the entire state of New Jersey if I can, and just continue to ask for donations and spread awareness,” Tarrant said. “The more money coming into the Kay Yow fund, the better I feel about it.”

About two months ago, Tarrant lost her mother to breast cancer.  Since the announcement of MU doing Play4Kay, there have been several donations made in memory of Tarrant’s mother.  Tarrant has said that it means so much to her for people donating and that she has reached out to each person personally to thank them. 

Besides the coaching staff, this foundation touches several players on the team as well.  “I always think it’s like a great thing to do because so many families are affected by cancer, whether its breast cancer or any type of cancer. We have teammates that had a lot of family members affected by some sort of cancer. I take it as a big deal and I think it’s a great opportunity and a great thing to do,” said senior forward Abby Martin.  “I’ve had a couple family members; one of my aunts is a survivor of breast cancer, one of my other aunts passed away to it unfortunately when I was about 12 or 13.  She was really close to me, one of my closer aunts, who was one of my best friends.  It touched my household, my family and I know a lot of other people that it has touched.”  

“My sophomore year of college my mother was diagnosed with cancer, it’s not a treatable form of cancer, but she is able to live fairly normally now, but it really does touch my life to  know I can help in any way I can especially since it hits so close to home,” said senior guard Carly Thibault.  “It means a lot to me, I think that honestly anyone you know can say that they know someone who knows someone else who knows someone that has been diagnosed with cancer, for me especially since it’s my mother and I’m very close to my mother it makes me happy to know that people are doing what they can to help.”

If the MAC was to sell out only one game this season, Palmateer said that she would want it to be pink game and have it just full of survivors.  “We want to try to do something to honor the survivors at half time. Have all the survivors maybe go down on the floor with someone holding a sign that says 1-5 and all the people who have been survivor for 1-5 years go stand behind the sign, then you see one with 5-10 and all the people, and then 10-15, and on and on. For the survivors to be able to look and see and be like ‘look at all the survivors’. It’s very moving and very inspiring.”

Before Yow passed away, she was quoted on by saying, “I am so honored and blessed to have the opportunity to establish the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, in partnership with the WBCA and The V Foundation. Despite all the games that I have coached and all the great opponents that I have battled on the court, breast cancer has by far been the toughest opponent I have faced. My hope is that this funding will help to change the lives of many men and women who face this opponent daily. Cancer is something that touches everyone’s life and it is important to understand that we all can make a difference. Each of you can be a part of finding an answer. Join me today and let’s beat cancer once and for all!”

With last season’s $1,000 goal raising close to $2,000, the Hawks’ goal this year is set at $2,000 in hopes to surpass their total once again.  On Wednesday October 17, 2012, members of the basketball team were at the Monmouth Mall in Eatontown scooping ice cream and raising money at Cold Stone Creamery.  Ten percent of the profits made that night were donated to Play4Kay under the team’s name.  In the three hours at Cold Stone, the Hawks were able to raise over $600.   To donate money and help out the cause, visit, click on the donate to team button and type in Monmouth University.  As of now, the Hawks are currently the leading team in the nation in raising money with close to $900.