Seattle coach Dan Hughes is aware of that his workforce’s upcoming sport in opposition to Minnesota will probably be extra emotional for him than many different video games this season. It is the Storm’s annual Breast Well being Consciousness night time.
Whereas breast most cancers survivors will probably be honored at Sunday’s sport, it has particular that means for Hughes, who had a cancerous tumor in his digestive tract eliminated throughout coaching camp. He has made a full restoration and returned to the bench on June 21 after lacking the workforce’s first 9 video games.
“I’ve always told people that the best thing the WNBA has done is the Breast Health Awareness game,” Hughes stated. “It has been special. When you hear the word cancer in your life, things that you’ve done in the past carry a little different meaning to you. You’re thankful. Let’s look at the reality. I went through cancer not quite knowing what they are going to find when they do the surgery. What they found was pretty good. I go through screenings every three months to make sure I’m a healthy guy.”
The Storm are hoping to lift $25,000 for the Swedish Most cancers Institute’s Affected person Help Fund, by way of an internet public sale , 50/50 raffle and promotional ticket supply. Hughes had his surgical procedure on the Swedish Medical Middle.
On Sunday, Hughes will keep in mind a university teammate who was identified with most cancers quickly after his prognosis. The Storm’s chief despatched a textual content providing his ideas and saying that he had simply gone by way of most cancers surgical procedure himself. Sadly, his former teammate died two weeks in the past.
“There are different endings to this story. I feel called to represent the ones that keep going,” the 64-year-old Hughes stated. “I’m a faithful guy. I feel God said I want you to deal with this, but I want you to keep going.”
Hughes recalled how one of many first individuals who reached out to him when he was identified stated that now he’ll not solely be often called a basketball coach, but additionally a most cancers survivor.
“Our Breast Cancer Awareness night you’ll see that,” he stated. “Yes this is a deadly disease, but you also want to celebrate the people who continue to move on in life.”
The veteran coach did say that whereas most cancers has given him extra of an appreciation for all times, it hasn’t utterly modified his teaching habits. Losses nonetheless sting.
“I still bottom out, I can’t lie to you,” he stated, laughing. “When I do bottom out, it does enter my mind. This is still way better than me being unable to live life. It does enter. I still bottom out. I don’t care what you’re dealing with, if you’re a coach and you lose, it’s just hell. But it does creep in. You’re out here living life and doing probably what you are supposed to be doing.”
One of many many issues that Hughes discovered whereas being sidelined by the most cancers was find out how to delegate extra to his assistants. That’s one thing he admits his youthful self might by no means have executed.
“One of the first things cancer patients told me is that you have to trust other people and let other people help you,” he stated. “If you’re a driven coach, 20 years ago, no way (I’d be able to delegate as much). You learn. My cancer rehab doctor said to me. You’ve been around, you’re a bright guy, you figure out how to help your team from where you are. Those are pretty good words. I feel a lot of appreciation for people doing their jobs around me that helps all of us do what we’re trying to do.”
Assistant coach Gary Kloppenburg, who took over whereas Hughes was out, stated that he noticed a change within the head coach.
“He definitely took the doctor’s advice,” Kloppenburg stated. “He was still around as a consultant, but he had total faith in his staff that we could handle it until he got back.”