Seattle head coach Dan Hughes knows that his team’s upcoming game against Minnesota will be more emotional for him than many other games this season. It’s the Storm’s annual Breast Health Awareness night.
Breast-cancer survivors will be honored at Sunday’s game, and it has special meaning for Hughes, who had a cancerous tumor in his digestive tract removed during training camp. He has made a full recovery and returned to the bench June 21 after missing the team’s first nine games.
“I’ve always told people that the best thing the WNBA has done is the Breast Health Awareness game,” Hughes said. “It has been special. When you hear the word cancer in your life, things that you’ve done in the past carry a little different meaning to you. You’re thankful. Let’s look at the reality. I went through cancer not quite knowing what they are going to find when they do the surgery. What they found was pretty good. I go through screenings every three months to make sure I’m a healthy guy.”
The Storm are hoping to raise $25,000 for the Swedish Cancer Institute’s Patient Assistance Fund, through an online auction , 50/50 raffle and promotional ticket offer. Hughes had his surgery at the Swedish Medical Center.
On Sunday, Hughes, 64, will remember a college teammate who was diagnosed with cancer soon after his diagnosis. The Storm’s leader sent a text offering his thoughts and saying that he had just gone through cancer surgery himself. Unfortunately, his former teammate died two weeks ago.
“There are different endings to this story. I feel called to represent the ones that keep going,” Hughes said.
Photo: Genna Martin / SeattlePI.com
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Griner, Anigwe suspended: Mercury center Brittney Griner will miss the next three games after the WNBA suspended her for her role in a fight in the Dallas-Phoenix game over the weekend that resulted in six players getting ejected.
The league punished Griner for throwing punches, escalating the incident and pushing Wings forward Kayla Thornton’s face with an open hand. Dallas forward Kristine Anigwe, a Cal alum, was suspended two games for instigating the initial altercation with Griner and taking an open-handed swing at her. Thornton also was suspended two games for her role in the scuffle.
Phoenix guard Diana Taurasi and Dallas forward Kaela Davis were suspended a game apiece for leaving the bench area during Saturday’s altercation and directly engaging with the opposing team.
With 6:25 left in the fourth quarter, Griner and Anigwe got tangled in the lane and a scuffle ensued. Griner had to be restrained by an official at midcourt, where she was still trying to get at Dallas players.
There haven’t been too many fights in the 23-year history of the WNBA. The biggest was a brawl between Los Angeles and Detroit in 2008 when 10 players were suspended for their actions, as well as an assistant coach for the Shock. Plenette Pierson, who was deemed to have initiated the altercation, got a four-game suspension, the most of anyone in that fight.
Tuesday’s games: Odyssey Sims had 17 points, Stephanie Talbot added 16 points and the visiting Minnesota Lynx beat the New York Liberty 89-73. … Dearica Hamby had 23 points and 16 rebounds, Liz Cambage added 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and the host Las Vegas Aces held off the Atlanta Dream 94-90.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Seattle-Storm-head-coach-Dan-Hughes-ready-for-14302615.php.