NORMAL — If she wasn’t Illinois State women’s basketball coach and had never met Kay Yow, Stephanie Glance might still be participating in a Play4Kay game elsewhere Sunday.
Yet because Glance served as an assistant coach to Yow, who died in 2009 of breast cancer, for 15 years at North Carolina State, the Redbird coach is feeling “a responsibility to carry out her legacy.”
ISU will do that Sunday as Creighton visits Redbird Arena in a 2:05 p.m. Play4Kay game that aims to raise money for and awareness of breast cancer and the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
“It is really special for me. A lot of emotion goes into it,” Glance said. “She taught so many lessons to all of us, and you just don’t want that to stop with you.”
Glance, her coaches and players heard a cancer survivor speak earlier this week to bring home the point even clearer.
“Seeing the impact she (Yow) has on Coach and on the world of basketball is really amazing,” freshman guard Alexis Foley said. “I’m happy to be a part of it and happy to be part of a school that puts so much into it.”
Spectators are asked to wear pink and Redbird players will be clad in pink uniforms and shoes.
Cancer survivors are invited to participate in a halftime recognition. Individuals will take turns with five minutes of game clock time to walk or jog on treadmills and stationary bikes while accepting donations.
Admission is $1 with $1 hot dogs and pink lemonade available. Pink Nike T-shirts will be sold for $30 and pink Nike shorts for $35 on the east concourse with all proceeds going to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
Also, the first 1,200 fans who enter Redbird Arena will receive a free pink backpack, donated by Frontier and The Pantagraph.
ISU eyes two straight: The Redbirds will try to build on Friday’s 24-point triumph over Drake and improve their records of 14-8 and 6-4 in the MVC against a Creighton team that suffered a 17-point loss at Indiana State on Friday.
The Bluejays (16-5, 8-2) defeated ISU, 64-45, on Jan. 11 in Omaha, Neb. Creighton led the nation with 9.6 3-pointers per game before the Indiana State game.
Marissa Janning, a 5-foot-8 freshman, is a 42 percent 3-point shooter and leads the Bluejays at 12.3 points an outing. Six-foot junior Sarah Nelson adds 12.1 and a team-leading 7.7 rebounds.
Redbird sophomore Brianna Puni has 25 points and 14 rebounds the past two games off the bench.
“Bri is a very talented player,” said Glance. “To see her come on like she has is exactly what we hoped for and what we expected. I’m really proud of Bri. She can do more than she thinks she can. We’re starting to see that.”