Greg McDermott's connection to cancer keeps pink out game as an annual tradition

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- As Creighton prepares for its tenth annual pink out game on Sunday, coinciding with Greg McDermott's ten years as the head man in Omaha, it allowed for McDermott to reflect on what the game is really about.

"Just in the hopes that somebody will do what they're supposed to do. They'd catch something early, and they'd go on to live a long and productive life," McDermott said.

His wife, Theresa, was diagnosed at the age of 39, but he credits the early detection for helping her beat cancer.

"You know, one of the reasons she successfully beat the disease is she got, she got her mammogram when she was supposed to and it was detected early, and the chances of beating it are much higher when cancer is detected early," McDermott said.

The coach said he knows that promoting early detection while working to beat the disease is the best path forward.

"I think you get hit in the face with something in your life before you realize you probably should've been doing something to support this all along," McDermott said.

That's what keeps the pink out game, which he started back when he was the coach of Iowa State, alive each year.

"There's people that maybe come to one game a year and that's the game they come to because of a connection they have with a loved one that's either battling cancer of has lost the battle with cancer," McDermott said. "It's really become a one of a kind event across the country and I'm really proud of the way our community has supported it."

McDermott posted on twitter, asking fans who attend Sunday's game to donate five dollars on their way in. He says that money can help make a huge difference.

The Bluejays play Xavier on Sunday at 3 p.m.