The McNaughton Senior Marquis girls basketball team is planning a charity game against an alumni team to raise money for the fight against cancer.
The game is being planned in honor of Robert Markham, a former Moosomin resident who has been a longtime basketball coach in Langenburg, and has been diagnosed with cancer.
Funds from the charity game will be split between the Canadian Cancer Society and the Community Oncology Program of Saskatchewan, which provides chemotherapy services at the Southeast Integrated Care Centre in Moosomin.
The game is set for 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, at the conclusion of the Girls’ home tournament at McNaughton High School.
Tegan Matichuck, the coach of the Senior girls team, says she knows Markham well from basketball circles. She says she found out Markham was diagnosed with cancer at a tournament in Langenburg on Saturday, Dec. 14.
“We found that out on Saturday and the girls noticed I was a little bit distressed by it,” says Matichuck. “The basketball world is pretty small.
“In basketball circles he is pretty well known. He has been coaching for well over 30 years.”
Matichuck says that a number of the girls on her team have been affected by cancer firsthand.
“We have a basketball team full of girls who have been affected by cancer,” she says. “It’s coming up on one year for the Offetts and Callie (Offett) is one of our team members. This is a hard time of year for her, and this turns things positive. It makes something sad better.”
“We found out he (Markham) recently was diagnosed with cancer, so we are trying to do a community event to raise money for cancer in general,” says Marquis player Rebecca Schwanke.
Player Tess Stanick says the team noticed Markham’s absence a the tournament in Langenburg. “We asked ‘Where is he?’ and Matichuck told us he was sick and it kind of hit us,” she says.
“I have an aunt who has been fighting cancer for quite a few years,” says Marquis player Melissa De Roo.
Both Schwanke and Stanick add that their grandmothers have had cancer.
Matichuck says a number of alumni players are returning for the game, including players she has coached over the years, and she has also talked to a few older former players.
However she is still asking any alumni who are out there and who are interested in playing to contact her at 306-435-8047.
The Marquis will be charging $5 at the door for the game, and Matichuck says they are hoping to pack the gym.