'Hoops N Hope' Fundraiser Held at WVU Basketball Practice Facili - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

'Hoops N Hope' Fundraiser Held at WVU Basketball Practice Facility

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On Sunday afternoon, West Virginia University's women's basketball team faced off against the Cavaliers from the University of Virginia. But prior to the tip-off, they offered their support for those fighting a bigger battle: breast cancer.

WVU's basketball practice facility went from old gold and blue to pink - all because of "Hoops N Hope," a fundraiser held to spread awareness about breast cancer.

"Women who have been screened on the bus, we have had nine cases of breast cancer since we started operations," said Sara Jane Gainor, the director of Bonnie's Busa mobile mammography unit that travels around the state to help women take the necessary precautions.

"If you find it early, that's everything because early detection saves lives and we know that," said Gainor.

Dozens of fans came out to support the cause. For just $5, they received a ticket to Sunday's game and a tour of the practice facility, which is normally off-limits to the public.

"We got to see the locker rooms, and the coach's office and stuff," said Mallary McCulley, who came to the event from Martinsburg with her basketball team.

"It's really big and nice," said Caley Arndt, who was also with the group.

For many, the day was about more than just basketball.

"One of our friend's moms is a part of it, and we wanted to support it and show that we care," said Tanisha Gaither, a fan.

"My grandma has breast cancer, but she's been fighting it for 15 years now," said Naomi Hawthorne.

Organizers said just a small donation can go a long way for many women.

"[The money can] buy gas for the bus, it helps pay for mammograms, it helps pay for our staff to stay the night in places when we travel. We need this money; without this, we cannot operate," said Gainor.

And that none of this would be possible without the support of both the public and the players themselves.

"They actually went with the bus, they were in a parade, they went with the bus in the parade. They know how important it is for women to have mammograms, so they're helping to get that message out there," said Gainor.

The event raised more than $1,000 for Bonnie's Bus.