Ganot to receive service award at Final Four

Hawai’i coach Eran Ganot will be presented with the Coaches vs. Cancer “Champion Award” by the American Cancer Society during the NABC Welcome Reception on Friday at the Final Four in Phoenix. (Brandon Flores Photography file photo)

University of Hawai’i coach Eran Ganot will take center stage — albeit briefly — at college basketball’s biggest event on Friday, when he is scheduled to be presented with the Coaches vs. Cancer “Champion Award” for his efforts benefitting the American Cancer Society.

Ganot will receive the award, which honors coaches who have shown extraordinary leadership and commitment in the fight against cancer, at Friday’s National Association of Basketball Coaches Welcome Reception in Phoenix. The Final Four starts on Saturday.

“We’re so thrilled to honor Coach Ganot with the Champion Award which recognizes leaders who truly give of themselves in supporting the fight against cancer,” Maria Olson, senior vice president of American Cancer Society’s California Guam Hawaiʻi Division, said though a school statement. “Coach Ganot has been an outstanding ambassador for the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Honolulu, helping ensure more patients are aware of, and able to access, free lodging. This is critical for patients from throughout the Hawaiian Islands and across the Pacific.”

Ganot has served on the NABC’s Coaches vs. Cancer Council for the past seven years, helping to guide, enhance and expand the program’s reach. On the local level, he has hosted an annual fundraiser in conjunction with the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.

“When we thought about what’s the best way to fight cancer here in Hawaiʻi, it was like a eureka moment,” Ganot said. “We host one of the great tournaments in the country every year. We can raise a lot of awareness and funds.”

Ganot’s efforts have helped raise more than $100,000 in the past two years alone through his Coaches vs. Cancer events. Funds raised support the American Cancer Society’s Clarence T.C. Ching Hope Lodge in Honolulu, which provides free lodging for patients from throughout the Pacific who must travel to Oʻahu for their cancer treatment. In 2023, Hope Lodge Hawaiʻi provided 8,284 nights of free lodging, saving patients nearly $1 million in lodging costs and alleviating a tremendous amount of stress for families dealing with medical costs and other stressors.

Coaches vs. Cancer is a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the NABC that empowers coaches, their teams and communities to join in saving more lives. The program leverages the personal experiences, community leadership and professional excellence of basketball coaches nationwide to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living through year-round awareness efforts, fundraising activities and advocacy programs.

The Champion Award was instituted in 1996, with former Missouri Coach Norm Stewart receiving the inaugural honor. Since that time, the award has been presented to head coaches including Jim Boeheim, Roy Williams, Tom Izzo, Bill Self and former UH head coach Riley Wallace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Theme Blog Explorer by Kantipur Themes