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Ripon, EU team up to fight cancer
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The Eats Union High Lancers girls’ basketball team is hosting this year’s Hoops for the Cure Classic on Saturday. - photo by Photo Contributed

The Hoops for the Cure Classic is scheduled for Saturday at the Dalben Center.

The ninth annual event featuring the girls’ basketball programs from Ripon High and host East Union High will benefit the local chapter of Triple Step Towards the Cure – at last count, over $75,000 has been raised for those affected by triple-negative breast cancer since this fundraiser first tipped off in 2009.

According to RHS varsity coach Rick Inderbitzin, last year’s “Play in Pink” game made over $16,000 – it’s best showing to date.

A check for that amount will be given to representatives of Triple Step Towards the Cure before the 7:30 p.m. varsity game between the Indians and Lancers.

Those funds, in turn, will help families going through this tough time.

No one knows that better than Jim Agostini. The East Union varsity coach went through this experience with his wife Leslie, who was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer prior to inaugural fundraising event but is now cancer-free – she still visits Stanford University Medical Center twice a year for check-ups.

“This game has taken a life of its own,” said Agostini, who has always been appreciative towards the outpouring of the community during his wife’s battle with cancer. “It’s our way of giving back.”

The non-league game between the two teams started with his longtime friend George Contente, who was the RHS coach back then.

When Contente stepped down as coach a few years ago, Inderbitzin, who once coached the Lancer Lancers – Agostini and Contente were his assists back then – made the transition almost seamless for the two programs to continue the Hoops for the Cure Classic.

“It was worried when George left if the games would continue,” Inderbitzin said. “It’s great that we were able to do so – an awesome experience being part of this game last year (as the RHS coach).”

As always, 100 percent of the proceeds will go towards the local Triple Step Towards the Cure chapter – receipts from the door, snack bar and the basket raffle prizes and silent auction.

Two free tickets for the drawing will be given for each entry into the gym.

Game times are 4, 5:30, and 7:30 p.m.

For more information, call 209.815.6265 or 209.858.8672.