The coaching change for Ripon High’s girls basketball team has had no effect on the annual Hoops for the Cure Classic, which is now in its seventh year.
East Union coach Jim Agostini worked with former Ripon coach and longtime friend George Contente to put on this growing event the past six years. Fortunately, the transition has been a smooth one for both Ripon’s program and the Hoops for the Cure Classic after Rick Inderbitzin over for Contente. All three men are East Union alumni, and both Agostini and Contente were once assistants under Inderbitzin for the Lady Lancers in the mid-2000s.
The “Play in Pink” game returns to Dalben Center this Saturday. The doors open at 3 p.m., with freshman, sophomore and varsity games scheduled for 4, 5:30 and 7 o’clock, respectively.
“To be honest, we weren’t sure if we were going to continue with the event,” Agostini said, “but with Rick Inderbitzin and his staff taking over they still want to go forward with this. It’s great that we can still share this with our neighbors to the south.
“We had six wonderful years having George and Kim (Contente’s wife) help out along with the city of Ripon and Ripon Unified School District. We’re just so blessed and thankful that the event is where it’s at right now.”
Agostini said the Hoops for the Cure Classic has raised more than $50,000 for the local chapter of Triple Step Toward the Cure, which in turn uses the money to benefit women and families affected by triple-negative breast cancer. Representatives of Triple Step Toward the Cure will be presented a $8,300 check from funds raised last year.
Agostini’s wife, Leslie, was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer in 2009. Now cancer-free, Leslie still visits Stanford Hospital twice a year for check-ups.
“My wife and I wanted to do something to give back,” Jim Agostini said. “The event has kind of taken off.”
Included in this year’s festivities are 120 basket raffle prizes and a silent auction. Two free raffle tickets will be given for each entry into the gym. Cost of admission is $7 and $5 for seniors. Among the prizes available are a three-day Mexican cruise, a Denver Broncos-themed package including autographed items, a photo session with Leonard Photography, a necklace from Ciccarelli Jewelers of Modesto and a pink cruiser bike. There will also be 20-25 venders in the small gym, and tri-tip sandwiches will be available in the snack bar.
Agostini lauds the efforts of the event’s committee, which he refers to as the “Pink Ladies, for their hard work. They consist of Melinda Montoya, Natalie Gosney, Aracelli Vezaldenos, Kim Lagomarsino and Sondra Berchtold.
“I’m just looking forward to another exciting night,” Agostini said. “It’s a pretty special night.”
His Lancers are 5-1 against Ripon in the Hoops for the Cure Classic. East Union (4-2, 14-4 overall) is currently tied for second in the Valley Oak League. The Indians (4-1, 10-8) are in second place in the Trans-Valley League.