ATLANTA – The Atlanta Hawks and Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) have joined together to launch a first-of-its-kind multi-pronged program with the goal of slamming prostate cancer. Led by Hawks Vice Chair of the Board and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Grant Hill and his father, NFL Legend Calvin Hill, the Hawks are the first team in the NBA to partner with PCF to educate and bring awareness to the disease that affects more than four million men in the U.S., with one in nine men being diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. Those numbers skyrocket when factoring men of African descent. African-American men are 76 percent more likely to be diagnosed with the disease and more than twice as likely to die than men of other ethnicities.
In recognition of Black History Month and to bring greater awareness to the African-American community of the disease, the team and Foundation have kicked off the Black History Month Assist Challenge in February. For every assist registered by the Hawks throughout the month, $250 will be donated by the Hawks Foundation to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. The Hills filmed a special public service announcement announcing the partnership and its importance. Census Bureau data from 2018 cites the Black or African-American population in the city of Atlanta at 52.3 percent.
“We couldn’t be prouder or more excited to be partnering with the Atlanta Hawks organization as they make history as the first National Basketball Association (NBA) team in the league to take on prostate cancer as an issue,” said Jonathan W. Simons, MD, PCF’s president and CEO. “It is befitting that during Black History Month, we all work to change the outcomes of the men who are most severely impacted by this disease. Raising awareness of the risks, leading conversations that shift attitudes and making the facts about prostate cancer easily accessible will literally save lives. The Hawks are changing history by altering the course of this disease and its impact on African-American men.”
Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America and the fourth most common tumor diagnosed worldwide. Despite its frequency, if the cancer is caught at its earliest stages, most men will not experience any symptoms and 99 percent of patients live five years or longer after diagnosis, which makes education so critically important.
On Saturday, Feb. 23rd when the Hawks play the Phoenix Suns at State Farm Arena, the Hawks and PCF partnership will be celebrated throughout the game with special videos, stories and educational pieces. The night will also serve as the team’s HBCU Night, recognizing historically black colleges and universities alumni and current students.
“As a member of the Atlanta Hawks ownership team and a black male, I am extremely proud of our partnership with PCF as I believe our work can truly make a difference in the city of Atlanta,” said Grant Hill. “With the platform we are afforded, we have a responsibility to be a community leader, and this is a great opportunity to educate in a way that could potentially save lives.”
For more information, please visit Hawks.com/PCF, a custom website where life-saving information and resources can be found along with instructions on how to join the Hawks and PCF in their mission.