Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

While in the Triangle, Mechelle spends some time with Tar Heel Jessica Breland: When a battle turns into a blessing
Breland, of course, knew of the battle NC State women's coach Kay Yow had waged against cancer down the road in Raleigh -- a fight that had started before Breland was born. She knew about the sadness that had surrounded Yow's death this past January.

She knew of the legacy of Wolfpack men's coach Jim Valvano, who died of cancer in 1993 and whose presence still lingers so strongly in all of college basketball, but especially in this region of North Carolina.

She knew about the Pink Zone games and cancer awareness -- and yet, she says now, she really didn't fully grasp it at all. Cancer was no part of her life … until it threatened her life.

"I didn't know anything about cancer, except as just the word itself," Breland said. "I guess I was blind about it. When you don't go through something or have to face it -- I never faced it with family members or anyone close to me -- you don't know what you go through.

"Now, I see people who I can tell are having treatments, and I know what they feel like. I watch movies or TV and I hear people talking about cancer. And it really hits me now."